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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 32 No. 2, p. 404-408
    Received: Dec 24, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Effects of Physical Agitation on Yield of Greenhouse-Grown Soybean

  1. R. S. Jones,
  2. C. A. Mithcell  and
  3. C. A. Mitchell
  1. E nvironmental Sciences Div., Dynamac Corp., 2275 Research Blvd. Rockville, MD 20850
    C tr. for Plant Environmental Stress Physiology, Dep. of Hotriculture, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907



Agronomic and horticultural crop species experience reductions in growth and harvestable yield after exposure to physical agitation (also known as mechanical stress), as by wind or rain. A greenhouse study was conducted to test the influence of mechanical stress on soybean yield and to determine if exposure to mechanical stress during discrete growth periods has differential effects on seed yield. A modified rotatory shaker was used to apply seismic (i.e., shaking) stress. Brief, periodic episodes of seismic stress reduced stem length, total seed dry weight, and seed number of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Lodging resistance was greater for plants stressed during vegetative growth or throughout vegetative and reproductive growth than during reproductive growth only. Seed dry weight yield was reduced regardless of the timing or duration of stress application, but was lowest when applied during reproductive development. Seismic stress applied during reproductive growth stages R1 to R2 (Days 3 to 4) was as detrimental to seed dry weight accumulation as was stress applied during growth stages R1 to R6 (Days 39 to 42). Seed dry weight per plant was highly correlated with seed number per plant, and seed number was correlated with the number of two- and three-seeded pods. Dry weight per 100 seeds was unaffected by seismic-stress treatment. Growth and yield reductions resulting from treatments applied only during the vegetative stage imply that long-term mechanical effects were induced, from which the plants did not fully recover. It is unclear which yield-controlling physiological processes were affected by mechanical stress. Both transient and long-term effects on yield-controlling processes remain to be elucidated.

Supported by Natl. Aeronautics and Space Administration Grant NAG 100018. Purdue Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. paper no. 12792.

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