Reconstructing an ancient bottleneck of the movement of the lentil (Lens culinaris ssp. culinaris) into South Asia uri icon

abstract

  • Crop movement often leads to genetic bottlenecks. The lentil was domesticated in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Dissemination from highland Afghanistan into the Indo-Gangetic Plain, where it is of major importance today, caused a founder effect creating a genetic bottleneck. To understand the process and assist breeders with broadening the consequent narrow genetic base, this study re-constructs the founder effect by a re-examination of historical world germplasm evaluations at an intermediate elevation site in Pakistan-Islamabad, and at a low elevation site-Faisalabad representative of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. At Islamabad 72% of landrace accessions of an Afghan origin did not flower and the remaining Afghan accessions were among the latest flowering accessions in the world germplasm collection. At Faisalabad late flowering accessions produced low yields with each week's delay in flowering giving a yield loss of 9.2%. Prehistorically Afghan lentil germplasm probably harboured recessive alleles for time to flower, possibly from introgression with wild lentil (Lens culinaris ssp. orientalis) in Afghanistan, which were then cyclically recombined and selected for as part of the dissemination process into the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011