, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 107–112 | Cite as

Lessons for breeders from land races of lentil

  • W. Erskine


Using the ancient, but under-researched, lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) as an example, the paper charts the spread of the crop from its origins in the Near East arc to its current distribution and reviews the patterns of variation found in its land races to draw lessons for crop improvement. Geographic differentiation of land races is known for sensitivity to temperature and photoperiod in flowering response, base temperature for germination and for winter survival and Fe-efficiency. Collectively such factors condition the specific adaptation in lentil. Cogniscent of this pattern of adaptation, the ICARDA breeding program has decentralized into a series of separate, but finely targeted, streams integrated with national breeding programs. Within land races of lentil there is considerable heterogeneity. To provide some heterogeneity within individual lines of second-cycle genetic material, the breeding program at ICARDA for the West-Asian lowlands is producing F3or4-derived advanced generation bulk lines.

Lens culinaris lentil land races adaptation breeding method heterogeneity 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Erskine
    • 1
  1. 1.International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)AleppoSyria

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