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 324 Accessions used in this project.
Namesort ascendingAccessionSpeciesTypeOrigin
3156-11KP:GERM19019Lens culinarisIndividualCanada
CDC AsterixKP:GERM26081Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC CherieKP:GERM19044Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC GlamisKP:GERM19046Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC GoldKP:GERM19047Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC GreenstarKP:GERM26082Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC ImaxKP:GERM19050Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC ImpowerKP:GERM19055Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC KR-1KP:GERM19059Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC LeMayKP:GERM11294Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC MaximKP:GERM19060Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC QG-1KP:GERM19066Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RedcoatKP:GERM19071Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC Red RiderKP:GERM19072Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RedwingKP:GERM19073Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RobinKP:GERM6749Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RosebudKP:GERM19075Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RosetownKP:GERM14893Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RosieKP:GERM26080Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RouleauKP:GERM13054Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RoyaleKP:GERM11293Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC RubyKP:GERM19076Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC SB-1KP:GERM19077Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC SedleyKP:GERM19078Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CDC VantageKP:GERM7719Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
CN 105604KP:GERM27498Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
CN 105605KP:GERM27499Lens culinarisAccessionEritrea
CN 105715KP:GERM27500Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
CN 105732KP:GERM27501Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
CN 105767KP:GERM27502Lens culinarisAccessionLibya
CN 105777KP:GERM27503Lens culinarisAccessionEgypt
CN 105789KP:GERM27504Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
CN 105791KP:GERM27505Lens culinarisAccessionEgypt
CN 105862KP:GERM27506Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
CN 105863KP:GERM27507Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
CN 105864KP:GERM27508Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
CN 105865KP:GERM27509Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
CN 105895KP:GERM27511Lens culinarisAccessionEgypt
CN 106265KP:GERM27512Lens culinarisAccessionEgypt
CN 108369KP:GERM27513Lens culinarisAccessionLibya
CN 108370KP:GERM27514Lens culinarisAccessionLibya
CrimsonKP:GERM19020Lens culinarisVarietyUSA
DPL 62KP:GERM27515Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
EstonKP:GERM60Lens culinarisVarietyCanada
GudoKP:GERM27517Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
IG 1046KP:GERM27518Lens culinarisAccessionEgypt
IG 1706KP:GERM27519Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
IG 1959KP:GERM27520Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
IG 4258KP:GERM27521Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
IG 4781KP:GERM27522Lens culinarisAccessionAlgeria


Sequences, Variants & Markers