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Soybean demand remains strong and continues to grow as a source of protein and oil for food and feed. Soybean production is expanding into cooler and warmer environments, thus, it becomes critical to expand the current knowledge about the influence of temperature on soybean. Temperature is the main environmental factor effecting node appearance rate (NAR) and node initiation rate (NIR), which are key parameters controlling soybean growth and development. This study aims to assess the response of NAR and NIR to temperature and investigate the coordination between these two processes under controlled and field conditions. Two greenhouse experiments with four contrasting mean temperatures (15-26ºC) and two field experiments with different sowing dates (April 23 to June 19) were conducted using maturity groups 2.1 and 3.0. The number of appeared nodes was measured every 2 to 7 days from sowing to ca. R5 to estimate NAR (nodes d-1). Stem apex was dissected every 4 to 7 days from sowing to ca. R3 to estimate NIR (nodes d-1). A co-ordination model was fitted between the number of initiated nodes and number of appeared nodes. Significant relationship was found in response to temperature of NIR and NAR. A constant plastochron of 36ºCd and dual value for phyllochron (83 and 58ºCd) depending on ontogeny was observed, with base temperature of ca. 10ºC for both processes. There is a strong two-phase co-ordination between node initiation and node appearance. This work established the response of NAR and NIR to temperature which could improve prediction of phenology, leaf area, and yield by the current soybean simulation models.
Advisor: Patricio Grassini