The objective of this study was to develop a dual-season high yielding, bold-seeded lentil variety with cold, drought and disease resistance to replace the local ultra small-seeded variety in the arid highlands (≥1000m altitude) of Balochistan which are equal to 25 per cent of the total land area of Pakistan. SHIRAZ-96 significantly (P<0.05) out-yielded the check (Balochistan Local) in 20 and remained non-significant (P>0.05) in seed yield at 7 sites. The seed increase of SHIRAZ-96 over local lentil ranged from 10-81 per cent. The maximum average yield of 1637 kg ha -1 (33 per cent > local) was obtained under irrigated conditions and 410 kg ha -1 (47 per cent > local) in rainfed environments. SHIRAZ-96 provided at least the seed back in the most dry (≤100mm precipitation) conditions when the local lentil could not produce any seed at all in those environments. SHIRAZ-96 survived -18 °C which is little less cold tolerant than the local which survived -19 °C under controlled freezing tests. These findings were analogous to the results obtained under natural environments in upland Balochistan. SHIRAZ-96 is Fusarium wilt resistant and tolerant to Ascochyta blight. It is almost same in cooking time, taste preference and protein contents but more than double in seed size as compared to the check, Balochistan local.
Asghar Ali, J.D.H. Keatinge Sarfraz Ahmed and B. Roidar Khan , 1999. Shiraz-96, First Improved Lentil Variety for the Arid Highlands of Balochistan, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 2: 1540-1542.