Filter by

Lentil

Overview

Crop Lentil Lens Center of origin: SAS, SEM, WAS

Lentil is one of the founding crops of agriculture.

Lentils were domesticated at about the same time as wheat and barley in what is known as the Fertile Crescent: lentils have been found in archaeological sites in a crescent-shaped geographical area spanning from today’s Jordan north to Turkey and into Iran. Even today, a substantial portion of global lentil production is concentrated in this area, however the largest producers of lentils today are India and Canada. 60% of lentil production is in the South Asian region, including Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal and Pakistan. In Bangladesh and Nepal lentil is the most important pulse crop for human consumption.

The seed protein content of lentil is about 25%, and the crop contains no cholesterol, virtually any fat, and very low levels of anti-nutrients. Apart from proteins, lentils are also rich in vitamin A, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and iron. Lentils’ many colors, from yellow, to orange, green and black, also reflect differences in taste and nutritional composition. “Le Puy” lentils, famed in French cuisine for their earthy flavor, were the first dry vegetable protected by the French AOC (Appelation d’Origine Controlée) designation, normally used to protect better-known products of French agriculture such as wines and cheeses.

Lentil plants provide a number of functions aside from being sources of human food. Lentil straw is an important fodder for small ruminants in the Middle East and North Africa, and the nitrogen sequestrating plant improves soil fertility and therefore increases sustainability of agricultural production systems. Lentils are an increasingly popular crop and world production has been rising steadily for the last 25 years; global production has more than tripled since 1980.

The International Centre for Agricultural Research for Dry Areas in (ICARDA) has an international mandate through the CGIAR system to improve this crop. One goal of the mandate is to facilitate the spread of winter planting in highland West Asia. The researchers are clear about where they find the resources for the development of the better-adapted varieties: “The first step is to find plants that can survive the harsh winter cold. ICARDA stewards a rich collection (about 10,500 accessions) of lentil germplasm including wild relatives. Evaluation of this material has revealed enormous variability in cold tolerance. These accessions are the raw material that ICARDA is using for breeding elite lines for winter cultivation.”

Conserving forever in genebanks

Filter by genebanks

ICARDA

Number of varieties available to the public
77.3% 9,630
Data available in genesys
0% 0
Safety duplicated
86.5% 10,775

Breakdown of genebanks conserving Lentil

  • ICARDA 12,463 / 100%

The Crop Trust has supported 14 projects for Lentil

  1. Albania: The Crop Trust supported the Agricultural Technology Transfer Center Lushnja to regenerate and characterize 11 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of these crops.
  2. Azerbaijan: The Crop Trust supported the Genetic Resources Institute of the National Academy of Sciences in regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 40 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of these crops.
  3. Bangladesh: The Crop Trust supported the Plant Genetic Resources Centre of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute to regenerate and characterize 205 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of these crops.
  4. Bulgaria: The Crop Trust supported the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources to regenerate 20 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  5. Georgia: The Georgia State Agrarian University (GSAU) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 59 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 40 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
  6. Nepal: The Agriculture Botany Division, NARI, Nepal received funding from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 210 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 171 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
  7. Hungary: The Crop Trust supported the Research Centre for Agrobotany to regenerate 28 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  8. Pakistan: The Crop Trust provided support for the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 470 lentil accessions.
  9. Russia: The Crop Trust provided support to the N.I. Vavilov Research Institute (VIR) to regenerate 100 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  10. Syria: The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) receives an in-perpetuity grant from the Crop Trust for the long-term conservation of the global collections of barley, forages, faba bean, grass pea and lentil it holds on behalf of the international community.
  11. Syria: The Crop Trust supported the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) to develop dynamic trait specific GIS-based subset for lentil landraces in ICARDA genebank by using Eco geographic data and distribution maps of major biotic and abiotic stresses to predict areas of high selection pressures for related trait, with the aim of getting information that will be used to derive sub-samples of accessions for each major biotic and abiotic constraint for introduction into appropriate screening programs.
  12. Ukraine: The National Center for Plant Genetic Resources of Ukraine (NCPGRU) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 60 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  13. Yemen: The Agricultural Research & Extension authority (AREA) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 47 lentil accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  14. Yemen: The Crop Trust supported the Agricultural Research and Extension Authority (AREA) that worked in collaboration with the National Genebank of Yemen and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) to characterize and evaluate lentil accessions from the National Genebank of Yemen for desired agronomic characters under farmers’ field and management conditions, with the objective being to capture and document farmers’ knowledge and identify accessions preferred by farmers and as potential sources of genes for the traits of interest for use in developing adapted and farmer preferred varieties.