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.

Saskatchewan Harvest 2017 Panoramic of AGILE plot

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.

SteverShirtliffe Morocco AGILE Panel

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
LocationJessor, Bangladesh
PhenotypeDays to emergence
LocationCentral Ferry, USA
PhenotypeDays till harvest
LocationBhopal, India
PhenotypeNumber of emerged plants
SpeciesLens orientalis
FunderSaskatchewan Pulse Growers
SpeciesLens odemensis
FunderGovernment of Saskatchewan
LocationMetaponto, Italy
LocationSutherland, Canada
FunderUniversity of Saskatchewan
SpeciesLens culinaris
CategoryBreeding & Genetics
LocationMarchouch, Morocco
PhenotypeDays till 10% of plants have elongated tendrils
SpeciesLens tomentosus
FunderWestern Grains Research Foundation
LocationRosthern, Canada
GermplasmAGILE Lentil Diversity Panel (LDP)
GenotypeAGILE Exome Capture
SpeciesLens lamottei
LocationBardiya, Nepal
PhenotypeDays till 10% of plants have one open flower
LocationCordoba, Spain
PhenotypeDays till 10% of plants have 1/2 pods mature
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.Download List
Namesort ascendingOriginSpeciesType
PI 431710 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431714 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431717 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431728 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431731 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431739 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431753 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431756 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431809 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431824 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431863 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431873 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431884 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431888 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431893 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431923 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 431980 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432000 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432001 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432002 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432005 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432028 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432033 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432085 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432106 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432124 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432145 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432147 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432184 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432188 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432190 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432201 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432212 LSP AGLIranLens culinarisAccession
PI 432236 LSP AGLJordanLens culinarisAccession
PI 432245 LSP AGLLebanonLens culinarisAccession
PI 432271 LSP AGLTurkeyLens culinarisAccession
PI 432286 LSP AGLEgyptLens culinarisAccession
PI 451763 LSP AGLUSALens culinarisAccession
PI 458503 LSP AGLMexicoLens culinarisAccession
PI 468900 LSP AGLBrazilLens culinarisAccession
PI 468901 AGLBrazilLens culinarisAccession
PI 468902 LSP AGLBrazilLens culinarisAccession
PI 472136 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472205 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472213 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472327 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472380 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472416 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472488 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession
PI 472559 LSP AGLIndiaLens culinarisAccession


Sequences, Variants & Markers