U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



J Agro Crop Sci (2014) 231–236 ISSN 0931-2250



This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Due to high costs of irrigation, limited availability of irrigation water in many locations and/or lack of irrigation capabilities, genetic improvement for drought tolerance is an effective method to reduce yield loss in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Slow wilting and minimal yield reduction under drought are important traits in evaluating drought tolerance. Two maturity group III soybean plant introductions (PIs, PI 567690 and PI 567731) and two elite cultivars (DKB38-52 and Pana) were evaluated with and without irrigation on a sandy soil. Drought was imposed by withholding irrigation at full bloom and continued until moderate wilting was shown by the fast leaf wilting in the check cultivar, Pana. Then, irrigation was resumed until maturity. Genotypes were scored for leaf wilting during the stress period, and yields were assessed at the end of the growing season and used to calculate a drought index. Yields of the exotic PIs were lower than those of the checks under both drought and well-watered conditions. However, the PIs exhibited significantly lower wilting and less yield loss under drought (higher drought index) than check cultivars. The two PIs may have useful genes to develop drought-tolerant germplasm and cultivars and maybe useful in genetic and physiological studies to decipher mechanisms responsible for improving yield under limited water availability