Genetic characterization of lentil ( Lens culinaris
Medik.) cultivars is important for lentil breeding. Therefore, random
amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)
analysis were carried out to evaluate genetic diversity in 13 Turkish lentil cultivars. A total of eight RAPD primers were
used in this study; 61 bands were produced and 55 of them were polymorphic (89.78%). The RAPD primers OPA-10,
OPB-11, and OPI-13 had the highest polymorphism ratio (100%). As a result of SDS-PAGE analysis, variations in the seed
protein pattern were observed among the lentil cultivars being studied. The SDS-PAGE similarity matrices indicated higher
genetic similarity estimates among the lentil cultivars than RAPD. In addition, principal components analysis (PCA) was
performed for both SDS-PAGE and RAPD where the first three components accounted for 75.760% and 68.121% of the
total variation for SDS-PAGE and RAPD analysis, respectively. It was noted that the lentil cultivars with factor loadings
greater than 0.5 for each principal component (PC) were also grouped together in the SDS-PAGE and RAPD dendrogram.
In addition to genetic diversity, cotyledon color (an important market criterion) values were measured for lightness (L*),
redness (a*), and yellowness (b*). As for cotyledon color, values for brightness, redness, and yellowness varied significantly
among lentil cultivars. Among the red lentil cultivars, ‘Çağıl’ and ‘Yerli Kırmızı’ had the highest cotyledon L* values of
70.83 and 70.74, respectively. The results of both genetic diversity analyses and cotyledon color of lentil cultivars would
help in planning future breeding programs to improve high yielding marketable lentil cultivars.