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
PI 299116 LSPKP:GERM27130Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299120 LSPKP:GERM27132Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299121 LSPKP:GERM27134Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299126 LSPKP:GERM27136Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299163 LSPKP:GERM27138Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299164 LSPKP:GERM27140Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299165KP:GERM22350Lens culinarisAccessionChile
PI 299177 LSPKP:GERM27142Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299237 LSPKP:GERM27146Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299289KP:GERM22355Lens culinarisAccessionChile
PI 299345KP:GERM22358Lens culinarisAccessionChile
PI 299351 LSPKP:GERM27150Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299354 LSPKP:GERM27152Lens culinarisAccession
PI 299366 LSPKP:GERM27154Lens culinarisAccession
PI 300250 LSPKP:GERM27158Lens culinarisAccession
PI 302398 LSPKP:GERM27160Lens culinarisAccession
PI 308614 LSPKP:GERM27162Lens culinarisAccession
PI 311107 LSPKP:GERM27164Lens culinarisAccession
PI 312175 LSPKP:GERM27166Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320935 LSPKP:GERM27168Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320936 LSPKP:GERM27170Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320937 LSPKP:GERM27172Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320939KP:GERM22369Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
PI 320941 LSPKP:GERM27174Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320945 LSPKP:GERM27178Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320946 LSPKP:GERM27180Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320952 LSPKP:GERM27182Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320953 LSPKP:GERM27184Lens culinarisAccession
PI 320954 LSPKP:GERM27186Lens culinarisAccession
PI 329157 LSPKP:GERM27188Lens culinarisAccession
PI 329167 LSPKP:GERM27190Lens culinarisAccession
PI 339266 LSPKP:GERM27194Lens culinarisAccession
PI 339283 LSPKP:GERM27196Lens culinarisAccession
PI 339285KP:GERM21132Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
PI 339292 LSPKP:GERM27200Lens culinarisAccession
PI 343026 LSPKP:GERM27206Lens culinarisAccession
PI 345627 LSPKP:GERM27208Lens culinarisAccession
PI 357225 LSPKP:GERM27210Lens culinarisAccession
PI 358602 LSPKP:GERM27212Lens culinarisAccession
PI 368647 LSPKP:GERM27214Lens culinarisAccession
PI 368651 LSPKP:GERM27216Lens culinarisAccession
PI 370481 LSPKP:GERM27218Lens culinarisAccession
PI 374116 LSPKP:GERM27220Lens culinarisAccession
PI 374117 LSPKP:GERM27222Lens culinarisAccession
PI 374118KP:GERM22387Lens culinarisAccessionMorocco
PI 374120 LSPKP:GERM27224Lens culinarisAccession
PI 374121KP:GERM22389Lens culinarisAccessionMorocco
PI 379368 LSPKP:GERM27226Lens culinarisAccession
PI 383682 LSPKP:GERM27228Lens culinarisAccession
PI 420924 LSPKP:GERM27230Lens culinarisAccession


Sequences, Variants & Markers