With demand for lentils growing globally and climate change driving temperatures higher, a University of Saskatchewan-led international research team has developed a model for predicting which varieties of the pulse crop are most likely to thrive in new production environments.
An inexpensive plant-based source of protein that can be cooked quickly, lentil is a globally important crop for combatting food and nutritional insecurity.
But increased production to meet this global demand will have to come from either boosting yields in traditional growing areas or shifting production to new locations, said USask plant scientist Kirstin Bett.
“By understanding how different lentil lines will interact with the new environment, we can perhaps get a leg up in developing varieties likely to do well in new growing locations,” said Bett.
Working with universities and organizations around the globe, the team planted 324 lentil varieties