Response of a Diverse European Soybean Collection to "Short Duration" and "Long Duration" Drought Stress

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Drought causes significant damage to a high value crop of soybean. Europe has an increasing demand for soybean and its own production is insufficient. Selection and breeding of cultivars adapted to European growth conditions is therefore urgently needed. These new cultivars must have a shorter growing cycle (specifically for adaptation to North-West Europe), high yield potential under European growing conditions, and sufficient drought resistance. We have evaluated the performance of a diverse collection of 359 soybean accessions under drought stress using rain-out shelters for 2 years. The contrasting weather conditions between years and correspondingly the varying plant responses demonstrated that the consequences of drought for an individual accession can vary strongly depending on the characteristics (e.g., duration and intensity) of the drought period. Short duration drought stress, for a period of four to 7 weeks, caused an average reduction of 11% in maximum canopy height (CH), a reduction of 17% in seed number per plant (SN) and a reduction of 16% in seed weight per plant (SW). Long duration drought stress caused an average reduction of 29% in CH, a reduction of 38% in SN and a reduction of 43% in SW. Drought accelerated plant development and caused an earlier cessation of flowering and pod formation. This seemed to help some accessions to better protect the seed yield, under short duration drought stress. Drought resistance for yield-related traits was associated with the maintenance of growth under long duration drought stress. The collection displayed a broad range of variation for canopy wilting and leaf senescence but a very narrow range of variation for crop water stress index (CWSI; derived from canopy temperature data). To the best of our knowledge this is the first study reporting a detailed investigation of the response to drought within a diverse soybean collection relevant for breeding in Europe.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftFrontiers in Plant Science
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 17-feb-2022

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