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
IG 858KP:GERM27523Lens culinarisAccessionAlgeria
ILL 10657KP:GERM27524Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
ILL 10748KP:GERM27525Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 11547KP:GERM27526Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 11548KP:GERM27527Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 11553KP:GERM27530Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 11555KP:GERM27532Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 11557KP:GERM27533Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 11558KP:GERM27534Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 1220KP:GERM21171Lens culinarisAccessionIran
ILL 1553KP:GERM21173Lens culinarisAccessionIran
ILL 1762KP:GERM21111Lens culinarisAccessionAfghanistan
ILL 1983KP:GERM21113Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 213KP:GERM21102Lens culinarisAccessionAfghanistan
ILL 2194KP:GERM21116Lens culinarisAccessionPakistan
ILL 2507KP:GERM27535Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 2580KP:GERM27536Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 28KP:GERM21161Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 3025KP:GERM21180Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 313KP:GERM21167Lens culinarisAccessionIsrael
ILL 3347KP:GERM21182Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 358KP:GERM27538Lens culinarisAccessionMexico
ILL 3597KP:GERM21186Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 4164KP:GERM21191Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 4400KP:GERM21195Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 4605KP:GERM20677Lens culinarisAccessionArgentina
ILL 4609KP:GERM21197Lens culinarisAccessionPakistan
ILL 4665KP:GERM21198Lens culinarisAccessionHungary
ILL 4671KP:GERM21199Lens culinarisAccessionUSA
ILL 4768KP:GERM21201Lens culinarisAccessionYemen
ILL 4782KP:GERM21204Lens culinarisAccessionNorway
ILL 4783KP:GERM21205Lens culinarisAccessionCzech Republic
ILL 4804KP:GERM21207Lens culinarisAccessionLibya
ILL 4875KP:GERM21210Lens culinarisAccessionUzbekistan
ILL 4956KP:GERM21212Lens culinarisAccessionPortugal
ILL 5058KP:GERM21213Lens culinarisAccessionSpain
ILL 5151KP:GERM21214Lens culinarisAccessionIndia
ILL 5209KP:GERM21215Lens culinarisAccessionJordan
ILL 5480KP:GERM25791Lens culinarisAccessionCzech Republic
ILL 5639KP:GERM27542Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 5722KP:GERM25792Lens culinarisAccessionTurkey
ILL 5883KP:GERM21223Lens culinarisAccessionJordan
ILL 5888KP:GERM19250Lens culinarisAccessionBangladesh
ILL 5945KP:GERM21224Lens culinarisAccessionEthiopia
ILL 6002KP:GERM27543Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 618KP:GERM21105Lens culinarisAccessionTajikistan
ILL 6182KP:GERM21226Lens culinarisAccessionTunisia
ILL 6211KP:GERM27544Lens culinarisAccessionSyria
ILL 624KP:GERM21106Lens culinarisAccessionMacedonia
ILL 6821KP:GERM27546Lens culinarisAccessionSyria


Sequences, Variants & Markers