The dynamics of flowering and pod set of soybean ( Glycine max (L.) Merrill) was evaluated in two greenhouse experiments with a girdled node system. Plants (cv. Elgin 87) were grown in 3.0 l pots filled with a soil–vermiculite mixture (2:1, v/v) and the main stem below node seven (node one was node with unifolioliate leaves) (one-node treatment) or node five (three-node treatment) was girdled when the first flower opened at node seven. The main stem above node seven was removed as were the leaves at nodes five and six on the three-node treatment. Flower production, from daily counts of open flowers, followed a bi-modal distribution with the first cohort representing flowers on the main raceme while the second cohort contained flowers from sub-branches. Pods ≥10 mm long were marked with acrylic paint and the color was changed every 2 or 3 days to define at maturity when the surviving pods were initiated. The initiation of surviving pods followed the same pattern as flowers, and pods in the first cohort had nearly 100% survival while second cohort generally had survival rates <60%. Initial development of pods in the second cohort coincided with lower concentrations of stem sugars and a rapid increase in pods with ≥3 mm seeds. The three-node treatment had more flowers and pods in the first cohort and more pods at maturity. Utilization of large amounts of assimilate by rapidly growing early pods may contribute to the high levels of abortion of late developing flowers and pods. Thus, synchronous flowering may increase pod set by decreasing this competition between early and late developing pods.
Field Crops Research – Elsevier
Published: Dec 6, 2002
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