AGILE: Application of Genomic Innovation in the Lentil Economy

2015 to 2019

AGILE Project Logo

Development of improved lentil cultivars well-adapted to the local environment is an on-going process in the breeding program and is critical for long-term genetic gain. Recent climate instability adds another layer of complexity to breeding efforts. Continued genetic improvement of lentil will, therefore, involve the introduction of new alleles that extend beyond the existing adapted pool of germplasm. Our goal in AGILE is to enhance the productivity and quality of Canadian lentils by expediting the expansion of genetic diversity of the Canadian lentil germplasm base with the use of genomic technologies.

In this project, we will first characterize the genetic variability available within the primary and secondary gene pools of the genus Lens through extensive genotyping and phenotyping. The information will be used to determine the genetic basis of the contrasting adaptation characteristics of lentils from the three main growing regions: northern temperate, mediterranean and S. Asia. We will then develop breeder-friendly markers for tracking response to photoperiod, temperature and light quality, and generate resources and tools to allow breeders to better use exotic germplasm and wild relatives while reducing any negative impacts. A systematic study of symbiont diversity will allow for a better understanding of ways to improve the nitrogen fixation process in lentils.

Access to superior cultivars does not automatically translate to adoption by farmers, particularly if they are unfamiliar with lentil crop production. Numerous factors influence crop production decisions, and a clearer understanding of these will help increase producer uptake of this important crop. Our GE3LS research will identify the various factors that may influence producer decision making processes and propose a strategy for effective communication and knowledge exchange/transfer, which will encourage sustainable and profitable production of lentils in Canada.

Results of AGILE will allow us to develop a thorough understanding of lentil and its wild relatives. Resources developed by this project will improve the agility of the lentil breeding program by introducing genetic diversity with greater precision, and speed up the breeding cycle. This project will also foster international partnership, which is critical for long-term success of the international lentil community.

Additional information about this project:
Property NameValue
TypeResearch Experiment
Research Area
Breeding & Genetics

Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular techniques. ... [more]

Related Species

Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an important pulse crop with annual production of 3-4 Mt across 70 countries (Cubero et al. 2009. DOI 10.1079/9781845934873.0000; pg. 13). Lentils are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins for human nutrition and is consumed in more than 120 countries. Furthermore, their small seed size and flat shape make them relatively quick cooking and easily decorticated compared to most other grain legumes (Sharpe et al. 2013. BMC Genomics. DOI 10.1186/1471-2164-14-192). The Lentil plant has a bushy growth habit with a height of about 40 cm; the seeds are lens-shaped and usually grow two per pod. ... [more]


Lens lamottei is a wild relative of Lens culinaris with horizontal, less dentate stipules1. Recent sequence analysis indicates that Lens lamottei is in the secondary gene pool of L. culinaris2. ... [more]


Lens odemensis is a wild relative of Lens culinaris with semi-hastate stipules which form horizontal positions on the stem1. Recent sequence analysis indicates that Lens odemensis is in the secondary gene pool of L. culinaris2. ... [more]


Lens orientalis is a wild relative of Lens culinaris with lanceolate stipules. The geographical distribution of Lens orientalis ranges from Turkey to Uzbekistan with a primary habitat of stony and gravelly niches where aggressive annuals are not successful1. Lens orientalis usually forms small disjunct populations containing a small number of plants in sparse stands1. More extensive populations of L. orientalis were found at high elevations (800 to 2,000 m)1. Recent sequence analysis indicates that Lens orientalis is in the primary gene pool of L. culinaris2 ... [more]


Lens tomentosus is a wild relative of Lens culinaris. Morphologically, L. tomentosus most resembles L. orientalis although it can be distinguished as having a hairy pod2. Recent sequence analysis indicates that Lens orientalis is in the primary gene pool of L. culinaris2. ... [more]

There are 357 Accessions used in this project.
Namesort ascendingAccessionSpeciesTypeOrigin
ILL 4804KP:GERM21207Lens culinarisAccessionLibya
ILL 4875KP:GERM21210Lens culinarisAccessionUzbekistan
ILL 5058KP:GERM21213Lens culinarisAccessionSpain
ILL 5151KP:GERM21214Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 5209KP:GERM21215Lens culinarisAccessionJordan
ILL 5480KP:GERM25791Lens culinarisAccessionCzech Republic
ILL 5511KP:GERM21220Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 5576KP:GERM21221Lens culinarisAccessionSerbia
ILL 5639KP:GERM27542Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 5722KP:GERM25792Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
ILL 5883KP:GERM21223Lens culinarisAccessionJordan
ILL 5888KP:GERM19250Lens culinarisAccessionBangladesh
ILL 6002KP:GERM27543Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 618KP:GERM21105Lens culinarisAccessionTajikistan
ILL 6182KP:GERM21226Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
ILL 6211KP:GERM27544Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 624KP:GERM21106Lens culinarisAccessionMacedonia
ILL 6797KP:GERM27545Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 6821KP:GERM27546Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7089KP:GERM21236Lens culinarisAccessionRussia
ILL 7547KP:GERM27547Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7558KP:GERM27548Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 7663KP:GERM27549Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7668KP:GERM27550Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7716KP:GERM27551Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 7747KP:GERM21243Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7946KP:GERM27552Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7950KP:GERM27553Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7978KP:GERM27554Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 7979KP:GERM27555Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 7980KP:GERM27556Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 8007KP:GERM27557Lens culinarisAccessionBangladesh
ILL 8009KP:GERM19089Lens culinarisAccessionBangladesh
ILL 8010KP:GERM27558Lens culinarisAccessionBangladesh
ILL 8072KP:GERM25899Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 8174KP:GERM25795Lens culinarisAccessionNepal
ILL 8595KP:GERM27559Lens culinarisAccessionEcuador
ILL 927KP:GERM21109Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
ILL 975KP:GERM27560Lens culinarisAccessionChile
ILL 9932KP:GERM25793Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 9945KP:GERM27562Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 9977KP:GERM27563Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 9997KP:GERM27564Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILWL 118KP:GERM27488Lens orientalisAccessionSyria
ILWL 212KP:GERM27489Lens orientalisAccessionUzbekistan
ILWL 330KP:GERM27490Lens orientalisAccessionSyria
ILWL 75KP:GERM27491Lens orientalisAccessionSyria
IndianheadKP:GERM7721Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
IPL 220KP:GERM27565Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
LairdKP:GERM19021Lens culinarisVarietyCanada


Sequences, Variants & Markers