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 432184 LSPKP:GERM27346Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432188 LSPKP:GERM27350Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432190 LSPKP:GERM27352Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432201 LSPKP:GERM27354Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432212 LSPKP:GERM27356Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432236 LSPKP:GERM27358Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432237 LSPKP:GERM27360Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432271 LSPKP:GERM27366Lens culinarisAccession
PI 432286 LSPKP:GERM27368Lens culinarisAccession
PI 458503 LSPKP:GERM27372Lens culinarisAccession
PI 468900 LSPKP:GERM27374Lens culinarisAccession
PI 468901KP:GERM7690Lens culinarisAccessionBrazil
PI 468902 LSPKP:GERM27376Lens culinarisAccession
PI 471917 (Eston)KP:GERM27516Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472122 LSPKP:GERM27378Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472136 LSPKP:GERM27380Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472137 LSPKP:GERM27382Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472143 LSPKP:GERM27384Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472161 LSPKP:GERM27386Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472175 LSPKP:GERM27388Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472194 LSPKP:GERM27390Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472200 LSPKP:GERM27392Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472205 LSPKP:GERM27394Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472213 LSPKP:GERM27396Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472224 LSPKP:GERM27398Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472274 LSPKP:GERM27400Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472327 LSPKP:GERM27402Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472372 LSPKP:GERM27404Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472383 LSPKP:GERM27408Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472488 LSPKP:GERM27412Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472549 LSPKP:GERM27414Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472559 LSPKP:GERM27416Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472561 LSPKP:GERM27418Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472562 LSPKP:GERM27420Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472569 LSPKP:GERM27422Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472588 LSPKP:GERM27424Lens culinarisAccession
PI 472590 LSPKP:GERM27426Lens culinarisAccession
PI 477921 LSPKP:GERM27434Lens culinarisAccession
PI 486128 LSPKP:GERM27438Lens culinarisAccession
PI 490288 LSPKP:GERM27440Lens culinarisAccession
PI 490289 LSPKP:GERM27442Lens culinarisAccession
PI 518731 LSPKP:GERM27444Lens culinarisAccession
PI 518733 LSPKP:GERM27448Lens culinarisAccession
PI 518734 LSPKP:GERM27450Lens culinarisAccession
PI 533688 LSPKP:GERM27452Lens culinarisAccession
PI 533693 LSPKP:GERM27454Lens culinarisAccession
PI 612875KP:GERM27576Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
PI 643451KP:GERM27577Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
PI 643452KP:GERM27578Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ShastaKP:GERM22070Lens culinarisAccessionUSA


Sequences, Variants & Markers