Lens culinaris

Overview
GenusLens
Speciesculinaris
Common NameCultivated Lentil
AbbreviationL.culinaris

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.

Nutrition

Lentils offer many health benefits for human nutrition since they are high in fibre, protein, complex carbohydrate and low in calories and fat. The high level of soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates found in lentils can help people stabilize blood sugar levels. The high protein content can help people who want to boost their protein intake. Using lentils to replace meat can reduce saturated fat intake while supplying important nutrients for your daily diet since lentils are an excellent source of potassium, folate, iron, mangansese and other minerals. Also, they are naturally gluten-free can help people who are gluten intolerant. Therefore, lentils can be your perfect choice if you are looking for healthy food options.

Morphology

Lens culinaris (cultivated lentil) is generally between 20 and 30 cm tall, but some cultivars can grow as tall as 75 cm and as short as 15 cm. Lentil is indeterminate which means growth habits of lentil can be considerable different: erect to semi-erect and compact growth to branched low bushy forms. Other morphological features, like number of leaflets, flower colour, seed size, cotyledon colour and days to maturity also exhibit a wide range of variations. The variations are mainly determined by genotypes but can be fairly affected by environmental conditions.

Properties
Property NameValue
Plant breedingHigh Yield, Lodging Tolerance, Appropriate Size, Shape, Seed Coat Colour & Quality, and Resistance to Ascochyta Blight, Anthracnose, Stemphylium Blight & Botrytis.
Seed phenotypeLarge Green, Medium Green, Small Green, Small Red, Extra Small Red, as well as, a Few Minor Specialty Classes.
Taxonomycellular organisms; Eukaryota; Viridiplantae; Streptophyta; Streptophytina; Embryophyta; Tracheophyta; Euphyllophyta; Spermatophyta; Magnoliophyta; Mesangiospermae; eudicotyledons; Gunneridae; Pentapetalae; rosids; fabids; Fabales; Fabaceae; Papilionoideae; Fabeae; Lens
PloidyDiploid
Genome Size~4 Gbp
Modal Chromosome Number2n = 14
Principal Investigator
  • Albert (Bert) Vandenberg Albert (Bert) Vandenberg: Breeding lentil varieties and conducting related research in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Kirstin E. Bett Kirstin E. Bett: Breeding lentil and dry (common) bean varieties and conducting related research in collaboration with colleagues.
Germplasm Data
The following germplasm data is currently available:
Stock TypeCount
Single Cross2,473
Individual1,509
Triple Cross1,503
Accession1,138
DNA1,001
Multiple Cross386
Backcross248
Double Cross138
Variety100
Recombinant Inbred Line41
Population26
Sequence & Variant Data
The following sequence and variant data are currently present:
Feature TypeCount
marker56,562
marker56,562
SNP52,183
SNP52,183
contig28,939
contig28,939
EST9,513
EST9,513
MNP1,543
MNP1,543
read_pair1,206
read_pair1,206
indel789
indel789
Nutritional Facts

Lentils, raw (dry weight)

Energy
343.00
kcal
Carbohydrate, by difference
60.08
g
Fiber, total dietary
30.50
g
Sugars, total
2.03
g
Projects
2009
In many important crop species, the strategy of single seed descent (SSD) enables only 2 - 3 generations per year. Approximately eight generations of inbreeding are required before plants are mostly homozygous (‘true breeding’). This creates a ‘bottleneck’ in cultivar development. Hence, the purpose of this project is to develop a rapid generation cycling technique for CDC pulse crops in order to speed up the breeding process by using in vitro flowering technique.
2009
Lentil has been grown commercially in western Canada since 1970. Ascochyta lentis, the causal agent of ascochyta blight of lentil is established as one of the most economically important diseases of lentil in Western Canada. To deal with this problem, the widely acceptable genetic improvement strategy is to pyramid resistance genes. Developing closely linked single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for resistance genes is prerequisite for pyramiding resistance genes. To develop SNP markers, a series of selected recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations derived from resistant sources will be phenotyped under greenhouse conditions (pathogenicity tests) followed by screening available SNP markers across the entire set of RIL populations.
2009
Stemphylium blight caused by the fungal pathogen Stemphylium botryosum is a lentil disease that has become more prominent in Saskatchewan in recent years. The disease is not well studied under our growing conditions, and information is sketchy on optimal conditions for serious outbreaks of stemphylium blight, yield loss and appropriate disease management strategies. The objectives of this 5-year project are to develop a protocol for the mass production of spores (conidia) of Stemphylium botryosum for the purpose of controlled inoculations; to conduct replicated field experiments to determine yield loss through stemphylium blight, using the tunnel system evaluated in the pilot study and the spore inoculum developed under (1); and to evaluate and optimize the use of tunnels and spore inoculation for resistance screening of lentil germplasm to stemphylium blight.

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