Morphological and phenological variation in the wild relatives of lentil uri icon

abstract

  • Wild lentils are a potentially important source of genetic variation for the improvement of the cultivated lentil. A lack of evaluation data for characters of economic importance is one constraint to their use in breeding programmes. Here, variation in selected phenological and agro-morphological characters in 310 accessions of wild lentils is reported. This includes 153 accessions of Lens culinaris subsp. orientalis, 33 accessions of L. odemensis, 32 accessions of L. nigricans, 90 accessions of L. ervoides and 2 accessions oft. lamottei. Certain L, culinaris subsp. orientalis accessions had substantially more leaves per plant, peduncles per plant, pods per plant and seeds per plant, and greater leaf area than two cultivated lentil checks. The total biomass obtained from the best L. culinaris subsp. orientalis accessions was comparable with the checks. The harvest index of one check was comparable with that of the two best L. culinaris subsp. orientalis accessions. Of the wild taxa, the L. lamottei had the highest average 100-seed weight. Broad-sense heritabilities were calculated and found to be high for days to average flowering and days to average podding. Significant correlations exist between quantitative characters and latitude of origin. Phenological adaptation, through sensitivity to photoperiod, temperature or both, appear to be a major evolutionary force in wild lentils. Variation is mapped according to geographical origin of accessions in order to identify geographical patterns or dines of variation. Accessions oft. culinaris subsp. orientalis from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan had among the largest biomass, the most peduncles per plant and many pods and seeds per plant. One-hundred seed weight, however, did not decline as expected with increased seed number.

publication date

  • 1999
  • 1999