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Crop Science Abstract -

Irrigation of Soybean Genotypes During Reproductive Ontogeny II. Yield Component Responses1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 23 No. 3, p. 528-533
    Received: Sept 1, 1982

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  1. L. L. Korte,
  2. J. E. Specht,
  3. J. H. Williams and
  4. R. C. Sorensen2



The magnitude of a seed yield increase that occurs when soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] are irrigated depends upon the phenologic timing of the irrigation in relation to the temporal sequence with which the components of seed yield are established and fixed. Eight soybean cultivars, varying in stem growth habit and maturity, were irrigated according to a factorial treatment design in which either no irrigation or one irrigation was applied at three reproductive stages: R1 to R2 flowering (F), R3 to R4 pod elongation (P), or R5 to R6 enlargement (S). An F irrigation increased the numbers of pods/plant (+ 2.8) and seeds/plant (+ 5.8), but an offsetting decrease occurred 100-seed weight (-0.9 g), resulting in little change in seed yield. P irrigation had no effect on 100-seed weight, but increased the numbers of pods/plant (+3.4) and seeds/plant (+7.9) resulting in a large increase in seed yield. An S irrigation resulted in only slight increases in the numbers of pods/plant (+1.0) and seeds/plant (+3.3), but greatly increased 100-seed weight (+1.4 g), again leading to a large seed yield increase. These observations suggested that irrigation early in reproductive ontogeny greatly reduced flower and pod abortion, whereas irrigation later in ontogeny reduced ovule abortion within developing pods. The cultivar ‘Harcor’ possessed unusually high numbers of oneand two-seed pods, while ‘Elf’ had substantially fewer numbers of three-seed pods, and ‘Woodworth’ possessed larger numbers of fourseed pods. Irrigation timing differentially influenced the frequencies of the various pod classes relative to their contribution to the increase in total pods/plant, primarily because of effects on ovule abortion within developing pods. The effects of irrigation timing on number of seeds/plant and 100-seed weight were thus consistent with the effects on seed yield reported earlier.

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