Variation in Seed Protein among Nodes of Normal- and High-Protein Soybean Genotypes
- Eduardo E. Escalante and
- James R. Wilcox
Current analytical techniques permit the determination of protein, nondestructively on 20- to 25-seed samples, or destructively on individual seeds of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. When these small seed samples are analyzed, within-plant variability in seed protein may affect accuracy of single plant protein values. Objectives of this study were to: (i) determine variability in seed protein among nodes of normal- and high-protein genotypes, and (ii) determine variability in protein of seeds from different positions within pods. Seeds from a single pod at all fruiting nodes and from three positions within pods of normal- and high-protein genotypes were analyzed for protein content in each of 2 yr. Seed protein content increased linearly from the 6th, lowest fruiting node, to the 17th, highest fruiting node, of both normal- and high-protein strains. The range in seed protein across nodes averaged 344 to 432 g kg−1 for normal and 420 to 509 g kg−1 for high-protein genotypes. No differences were detected in protein content among seeds within pods for any strain. The data demonstrate that analyses of seed samples representative of the entire plant are essential to accurately determine seed protein of individual plants. Although non-destructive analyses of 20-seed samples is possible, we recommend non-destructive analyses of all seeds from an individual plant to determine seed protein on a single-plant basis.
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