The genetics of lentil color - inside & out


    Lentils are known as low-fat, nutrient-dense foods with many health benefits. Part of these beneficial properties have been attributed to their colorful content, namely carotenoids, anthocyanins and other flavonoid pigments. Carotenoids are responsible for red, orange and yellow colors in plants, and they are of major importance in human diet as precursors of vitamin A, antioxidants, and for their anticancer properties. In lentils, differences in carotenoid concentration may explain the differences in cotyledon colors, which can be red, yellow or green. Anthocyanins are responsible for orange, red, and purple colors in plants, and have also been shown to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Lentil seed coat colors can be green, brown, tan or black, with or without patterns. These differences might be explained by differences in anthocyanin, pro-anthocyanidin and carotenoid concentrations. We are working on characterizing the effects of the environment on these pigments in both the cotyledon and the seed coat, and the genetics underlying color determination. We are also interested in developing automated solutions to precisely and efficiently determine color variation and diversity in lentil cotyledon and seed coat.



Lentil diversity panel (LDP)


Saskatoon and worldwide

Traits phenotyped:

Color and pigment content


LR-68 (Genotyping-by-Sequencing)

LDP (Exome capture)

Who is working on this?

Didier Socquet-Juglard

Google scholar:



Scott Noble

Randy Purves

AGILE field phenotyping group 

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]


The objectives of the Pulse Research Group Physiology Program is to investigate whole plant and field responses of crops, particularly pulse crops, to nutrient, water and weather.  To understand and improve yield formation in pulse crops in a warming climate.  To investigate and improve nitrogen ... [more]

Sequences, Variants & Markers