Among the cool season legume crops, lentil production has displayed the greatest increase, while cropping of many other grain legumes is actually in decline. This increase is most likely due to a convenient fast cooking coupled to a saving of fuel and time – dehulled lentils cook even faster than milled rice. Worldwide lentil consumption has augmented more than twice the rate of human population growth, with lentil consumption over the past 40 years having increased more than any other food crop. Therefore, continued genetic improvement of lentil is essential in all production regions; nevertheless, without access to and use of diverse germplasm, prospects for yield genetic gain in lentil may be difficult to accomplish. Wild Lens accessions represent less than 1 % of the world germplasm collection of this genus, this small fraction likely representing the greatest untapped pool of genetic variation in lentil. Germplasm evaluation together with a successful and targeted hybridization allows for an efficient breeding and selection of varieties adapted to specific environments. The aim of the present chapter is to describe the evolutionary aspects of lentil and assess the gene pool and flow for crop improvement, considering levels of diversity and agronomic traits of importance, with emphasis placed on wild species and interspecific Lens hybridization, to finally conclude with molecular aspects and future prospects of lentil breeding.


Faba Bean Ascochyta Blight Embryo Rescue Lentil Plant Tertiary Gene Pool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Área de Genética, Departamento de Biología MolecularUniversidad de LeónLeónSpain

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