Submitted to: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Increased residue production by lentil crops is needed to provide soil cover as protection against erosion in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. In the present study we evaluated the U.S. core collection of lentil germplasm to assess the magnitude of genetic variation for biomass, seed and residue production, and assessed the relationships of various morphological traits with biomass production and seed yields. Our results indicate that significant variation is present for biomass, seed and residue production in the germplasm and that simultaneous improvement of these important traits is possible. Promising germplasm materials have been identified for use in the breeding program and improvement of lentil varieties is underway. The results provide a genetic means of reducing soil erosion and contribute to improved sustainability of cropping systems in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Technical Abstract: Increasing and maintaining crop residues in cereal-based rotations of the U.S. Pacific Northwest is critical to controlling soil erosion. The core collection of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) germplasm comprising 287 accessions was evaluated for variation in phenological, morphological and growth parameters including seed yields and residue amounts over a two-year rperiod under conventional tillage and no-till conditions. The objectives of this study were (i) assess lentil genetic variation in germplasm for variation in biomass production and seed yield, (ii) assess the relationship of phenological and morphological traits with biomass and seed yield and (iii) identify high biomass producing germplasm for use as parents in the breeding program. Total biomass ranged from 788-6389 kg ha -1 under conventional tillage, while the range under no-till conditions was 1045-6195 kg ha -1. Most of the lines with higher biomass also produced the highest seed yields and residue amounts. Overall, only one accession produced more residue than 'Laird'. Results indicated that plant height, canopy width at maturity and seed yield explained most of the variation in biomass and residue production. Large seeded germplasm consistently had a longer reproductive growth period than small seeded accessions and had 17%, 7%, and 21% more biomass, seed yield and residue, respectively. Our data indicated significant variation in lentil germplasm for biomass, seed yield and residue amounts to warrant their use in the breeding program.