Scientists are working to understand what controls flowering time and maturity in soybean production
Scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are investigating the importance of flowering and how to control it. Early flowering and maturity reduces the risk of frost damage and this is an important variety trait for soybeans grown in areas with short growing seasons.
Flowering time in soybeans is controlled by day length. Soybean plants will flower early during short days and will flower late during the long days of summer. Previous research has indicated that early flowering was the default condition when a plant either has no late flowering genes or is grown in short days. Late flowering occurs when late flowering genes are present in a plant and when they are activated by long days.
For this study, conducted from 2000-2002, scientists grafted soybean plants using a combination of early and late flowering plants and grew them under long days. Early flowering shoots flowered early regardless of the rootstock. This early flowering was seen even if the shoots were defoliated. Early flowering rootstocks speeded the flowering of grafted late flowering shoots. The full results of the study are published in the May/June issue of Crop Science.
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