First sources of resistance to Sitona weevil (Sitona crinitus Herbst) in wild Lens species

M. El-Bouhssini, A. Sarker, William Erskine, A. Joubi

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    Lentil is one of the important cool-season food legumes grown in many countries in the Mediterranean region. But a substantial yield loss is observed every year due to various biotic stresses. The Sitona weevil (Sitona crinitus Herbst) is a major insect pest limiting lentil productivity mainly in the countries of West Asia and North Africa region. The adult insects feed on the leaflets at seedling stage, and the plant suffers due to reduced photosynthesis. The larvae feed on the root systems and on the nodules, thus decreasing the ability of the plant to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Since sources of resistance to this pest in the cultivated lentil Lens culinaris Medikus subsp. culinaris are lacking, we searched for resistant sources in a collection of wild Lens species available in the ICARDA Gene Bank. We screened 315 accessions of wild lentil covering all known species/sub-species based on nodule damage at ICARDA’s main experimental station (Tel Hadya, Aleppo), a hot-spot for the pest in the region. Large variation was observed in the percent nodule damage among accessions across species. Eight accessions, ILWL 110, ILWL 136, ILWL 166, ILWL 203, ILWL 207, ILWL 245, ILWL 254 and ILWL 258 were identified as resistant, with ≤10% nodule damage, compared to >56% damage recorded on the cultivated lentil. This is the first report of resistance against Sitona weevil in lentil. One resistant accession ILWL 245 belongs to the species L. culinaris Medikus subsp. orientalis (Boiss.) Ponert, progenitor of the cultivated lentil, which is crossable with the cultivated lentil. This line is being used to introgress resistance genes to cultivated lentil and to understand the inheritance of Sitona weevil resistance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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