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Host Variation in Traits Associated with Crown Nodule Senescence in Soybean


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 1, p. 103-109
    Received: July 27, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): pgraham@soils.umn.edu
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  1. David Espinosa-Victoriaa,
  2. Carrol P. Vanceb and
  3. Peter H. Graham *c
  1. a Programa Edafologia, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, Mexico
    b USDA-ARS, Univ. of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108 USA
    c Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, Univ. of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108 USA


Active N2 fixation in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] in Minnesota is limited by cool early-season soil temperatures and by postflowering nodule senescence. This study examined variation in onset of nodule senescence among Maturity Group I soybean cultivars and sought traits associated with this variation. Host genotype markedly affected onset of crown nodule senescence. For most cultivars, crown nodule fresh weight and specific nodule activity (SNA) peaked 31 to 38 d after emergence (DAE) and declined rapidly thereafter. In contrast, maximum crown nodule fresh weight in `Hardin' and `Hodgson 78' did not occur until 52 DAE, and SNA was still high 45 to 52 DAE. Two cultivars, Chippewa and Alpha, that exhibited early change in crown nodule mass and SNA, accumulated glyceollin I 10 to 45 DAE at rates significantly greater than for Hardin and Hodgson 78. The four cultivars also differed in phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and chalcone synthase (CHS) gene expression, nodule protease activity, and polyamine accumulation. Morphological changes within the nodule paralleled the biochemical differences, with Chippewa nodules 45 DAE showing more conspicuous deterioration than was evident in Hardin. Because crown-nodule mass and nitrogenase activity in Hardin and Hodgson 78 declined later than in other Maturity Group I cultivars, with less evidence of host–strain incompatibility, these two lines may have value in breeding programs to extend the period of active nodulation and N2 fixation in soybean.

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