That interest inspired the Kansas State University soybean breeding program to team up with the spectral analysis lab of Kevin Price, K-State professor of agronomy, to explore ways to increase the efficiency of the soybean breeding line selection process.
“The most time-consuming, land-intensive and expensive aspect of our breeding program at K-State is in harvesting the many thousands of early generation lines, weighing the seed and determining yield,” said Bill Schapaugh, K-State soybean breeder. “If we can find a way to separate out 50 percent or more of the very low-yielding lines without the need to combine harvest and weigh the seed, that would reduce the time and cost of our breeding program considerably,” Schapaugh said.
Spectral analysis, a method of analyzing the electromagnetic radiation coming from plants and other objects, is being used in the K-State Agronomy Department to determine the level of photosynthetic activity of vegetation in many different situations. The work is conducted with financial support from the Kansas Soybean Commission.
“We decided to work with Dr. Price’s spectral analysis team to try using this new technology in our soybean breeding nursery,” Schapaugh said. “The goal was to find out how effective this technology might be in predicting yields, stress tolerance and disease resistance as a way to eliminate unpromising lines early in the process.”
To do this, the K-State team, including graduate students Nan An, Brent Christenson, and Nathan Keep, used a ground-based spectroradiometer to gather spectral data in the visible and infrared spectra at various stages of growth, and correlated the results with actual yield data. They have spent the last two years trying to determine exactly what data to collect and how often, and whether any of the spectral regions being measured would have a good correlation to yield.
“Spectral analysis doesn’t have to be accurate enough to separate lines with a yield difference of just one or two bushels per acre. If it can separate lines with a yield difference of five to 10 bushels, that would be a great help in the preliminary stages of line evaluation,” Schapaugh said.
The initial model, developed by Christenson, correlated various spectral data at different growth stages with actual yields. The correlation using that model was not perfect, but was close enough to encourage further work.
“With this model, and using only the spectral data taken at the seed fill stage to make selections, we would have retained all of the highest yielding varieties by selecting the best half,” Schapaugh said.
“If we can repeat the kind of results we have achieved in the training population with experimental varieties from other populations, the precision should be accurate enough to cull out lines having a low yield potential at the earliest stage of evaluation. If we can discard low-yielding lines without having to harvest them and weigh the seed for yields, this will have tremendous value to the breeding program in terms of saving time, space and money,” he said.
The K-State team is expanding its research into this new technology, developing more robust models, using different types of sensors, adding genotypes, and evaluating the methods of measurement.
Also, this summer, the team members plan to test the use of aerial sensors in addition to the ground-based sensors. Price has been working on various aerial spectroradiometer applications in agriculture.
“Our goal is to be able to use spectral analysis to achieve a dramatic reduction in the cost of producing a unit gain in yield potential, and the results so far are promising,” Schapaugh said.
Bill Schapaugh is at 785-532-7242 or email@example.com; Steve Watson firstname.lastname@example.org; Elaine Edwards 785-532-5851 or email@example.com
Bill Schapaugh | Newswise
Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy