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.

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
LIRL-22-46KP:GERM27566Lens culinarisAccession
PI 163589KP:GERM22409Lens culinarisAccessionGuatemala
PI 169534 LSPKP:GERM27044Lens culinarisAccession
PI 175754 LSPKP:GERM27046Lens culinarisAccession
PI 177430 LSPKP:GERM27048Lens culinarisAccession
PI 178939 LSPKP:GERM27050Lens culinarisAccession
PI 178952KP:GERM22414Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
PI 178971 LSPKP:GERM27052Lens culinarisAccession
PI 179324 LSPKP:GERM27054Lens culinarisAccession
PI 179330KP:GERM22416Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
PI 181771 LSPKP:GERM27056Lens culinarisAccession
PI 181886 LSPKP:GERM27058Lens culinarisAccession
PI 182217 LSPKP:GERM27060Lens culinarisAccession
PI 193545KP:GERM27567Lens culinarisAccession
PI 193546KP:GERM27479Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
PI 193547 LSPKP:GERM27062Lens culinarisAccession
PI 193548 LSPKP:GERM27064Lens culinarisAccession
PI 193550KP:GERM27569Lens culinarisAccession
PI 207492 LSPKP:GERM27068Lens culinarisAccession
PI 209858 LSPKP:GERM27070Lens culinarisAccession
PI 211052 LSPKP:GERM27072Lens culinarisAccession
PI 212100 LSPKP:GERM27074Lens culinarisAccession
PI 212610 LSPKP:GERM27076Lens culinarisAccession
PI 217949 LSPKP:GERM27078Lens culinarisAccession
PI 238758 LSPKP:GERM27080Lens culinarisAccession
PI 244046KP:GERM22428Lens culinarisAccessionYemen
PI 250156 LSPKP:GERM27082Lens culinarisAccession
PI 250158 LSPKP:GERM27084Lens culinarisAccession
PI 251032 LSPKP:GERM27086Lens culinarisAccession
PI 251248 LSPKP:GERM27088Lens culinarisAccession
PI 273664 LSPKP:GERM27092Lens culinarisAccession
PI 283604 LSPKP:GERM27094Lens culinarisAccession
PI 289066KP:GERM27570Lens culinarisAccession
PI 289073 LSPKP:GERM27098Lens culinarisAccession
PI 289079 LSPKP:GERM27100Lens culinarisAccession
PI 290716 LSPKP:GERM27102Lens culinarisAccession
PI 297284 LSPKP:GERM27104Lens culinarisAccession
PI 297285 LSPKP:GERM27106Lens culinarisAccession
PI 297287KP:GERM27571Lens culinarisAccession
PI 297754 LSPKP:GERM27108Lens culinarisAccession
PI 297767KP:GERM22443Lens culinarisAccessionGreece
PI 298023 LSPKP:GERM27114Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298121 LSPKP:GERM27116Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298122 LSPKP:GERM27118Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298357 LSPKP:GERM27120Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298631 LSPKP:GERM27122Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298645KP:GERM22451Lens culinarisAccessionSpain
PI 298921KP:GERM22341Lens culinarisAccessionItaly
PI 298922 LSPKP:GERM27126Lens culinarisAccession
PI 298923 LSPKP:GERM27128Lens culinarisAccession


Sequences, Variants & Markers