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**Botanical Description and Types**:
– The lentil is an edible legume with lens-shaped seeds.
– It is an annual plant that grows to about 40cm tall.
– Seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.
– Lentils are commonly used in stews and soups.
– Lentils are self-pollinating.
– Types can be classified by size, split or whole, and shelled or unshelled.
Seed coats can range in color from light green to deep purple.
– Examples include Beluga, Macachiados, Puy lentils, and Alb-Leisa.
– Shelled lentils show colors like yellow, orange, red, or green.
Lentil production in 2022: Canada (2.3M tonnes), India (1.3M), Australia (1.0M), Turkey (0.4M), Russia (0.3M).

**Cultivation and Production**:
– Global lentil production in 2022 was 6.7 million tonnes.
– Canada produced the largest share at 2.2 million tonnes.
– India was the world’s second-largest producer.
– Saskatchewan in Canada produces 95% of lentils.
– Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India account for 70% of national production.
– Domesticated lentil crops have indehiscent pods and non-dormant seeds.
Lentil was domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and spread to various regions.
– Oldest carbonized remains of lentil date back to 11,000 BC in Greece.
– Lentils grow best in deep sandy loam soils with moderate fertility.
– A soil pH around 7 is ideal for lentil cultivation.
– Lentils do not tolerate flooding or water-logged conditions.
– Lentils are planted in winter and spring in temperate climates.
– Vegetative growth occurs in later spring and summer.
– Rainfall is not limited during growth in temperate regions.
– Lentils are cleaned and sorted using gravity, screens, and air flow.
Lentil flour can be produced by milling the seeds.

**Diseases and Pest Management**:
– Common lentil diseases include Alternaria blight, anthracnose, and downy mildew.
– Fungal diseases like Aphanomyces root rot and Ascochyta blight affect lentils.
– Dry root rot, Fusarium wilt, and Helminthosporium leaf spot are common diseases.
Leaf rot, leaf yellowing, and ozonium wilt are among the diseases affecting lentils.
– Lentils are susceptible to various fungal infections that can impact yield.
– Herbicides may be needed in intercropping systems for lentil cultivation.
– Lentils can fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil with specific rhizobia.
– Lentils grow well under low fertilizer input conditions.

**Culinary Use and Processing**:
– Lentils can be prepared in various ways like soaking, germinating, frying, baking, or boiling.
– Lentils have a distinctive earthy flavor and high emulsifying capacity.
Lentil dishes are popular in South Asia, the Mediterranean, West Asia, and Latin America.
– Lentils are used in dishes like dal tadka, mujaddara, and kik wot.
– Lentils are nutritious and commonly used in soups, salads, and traditional dishes worldwide.
– Lentils are cleaned and sorted using gravity, screens, and air flow.
– A significant portion of red lentil production undergoes secondary processing.

**Breeding, Genetic Research, and Technological Advancements**:
Lentil breeding has a shorter history compared to other crops.
– The International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) breeding programme started in 1977.
– Focus on high yielding and stable cultivars for diverse environments.
– Major breeding aims include progress in quantity, quality, disease resistance, and abiotic stress resistance.
– Conventional breeding methodologies have been used to develop several varieties.
– Mutagenesis is essential for creating new desirable varieties.
Lentil breeding benefits from biotechnology techniques.
– Micro-propagation, callus culture, and protoplast culture impact lentil breeding.
– SNP phylogeny is proposed for revising gene pools.

Lentil (Wikipedia)

The lentil (Vicia lens or Lens culinaris) is an edible legume. It is an annual plant known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.

Puy (left), green (center), and red (right) lentils
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Vicia
V. lens
Binomial name
Vicia lens
(L.) Coss. & Germ. (1845)
  • Vicia lens subsp. lamottei (Czefr.) H.Schaef., Coulot & Rabaute
  • Vicia lens subsp. lens
  • Cicer lens (L.) Willd. (1802)
  • Ervum lens L. (1753)
  • Lathyrus lens (L.) Bernh. (1800)
  • Lens culinaris Medik. (1787)
  • Lens esculenta Moench (1794), nom. superfl.
  • Lens lens (L.) Huth (1893), not validly publ.
  • Lentilla lens (L.) W.Wight (1912)
  • Orobus lens (L.) Stokes (1812)

Lentils are used around the world for culinary purposes. In cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, where lentils are a staple, split lentils (often with their hulls removed) known as dal are often cooked into a thick curry that is usually eaten with rice or roti. Lentils are commonly used in stews and soups.

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