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Responses of ten soybean [ glycine max (L.) merrill] genotypes for yield and nodulation to trichoderma and silicon applications.

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A study was conducted to determine the responses of 10 selected soybean (Glycine max L.) genotypes to potassium silicate (KSi) and Trichoderma harzianum (Eco-T®) applications. Preliminary studies involving two independent experiments were conducted under controlled conditions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal during 2010. Potassium silicate at three concentrations (0, 200 and 250ppm) were applied twice weekly over a period of four months to the genotypes laid out in a randomized complete block design. Subsequently, a field experiment was conducted at Ukulinga Research Farm of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg during 2010/2011 to investigate the responses of the genotypes to KSi at 0 and 200ppm, with and without(Eco-T®) seed treatment. This experiment was set out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Data collected included number of days to 50% flowering, number of days to 50% maturity, plant height, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, 100 seed weight, root mass, shoot mass, seed yield and harvest index. The total number of root nodules formed and the number of active nodules were determined at end of the field experiment. In most cases a decrease was noted in total nodule formation as well as a decrease in the number of active nodules that formed. In the controlled environments there was a significant interaction between genotype and KSi concentrations for all measured traits. In most cases KSi applied at 200ppm was more successful in enhancing growth, improving seed yield and resulted in high harvest indices. The genotypes that produced the highest seed yield and harvest index in these environments were Williams and Barc-2 at 200ppm KSi. Results from correlation analysis revealed that harvest index and seed yields were generally positively associated with plant height, number of pods per plant and 100 seed weight, which in turn were the traits that contributed to most of the variation to seed yield and harvest index as revealed in the principle component analysis (PCA). The field experiment revealed a significant interaction between genotype x KSi x Eco-T®. Potassium silicate applied at 200ppm with Eco-T® usually promoted growth, seed yield and high harvest indices for all the genotypes. The PCA showed seed yield and harvest index were the traits that contributed to most of the variation. Genotypes Williams, LS6161R, Magoye and Barc-2 were the best seed yielders with the highest harvest indices that responded strongly to the combined use of KSi and Eco-T® under field conditions. Genetic comparison of the ten soybean genotypes with eight microsatellite markers revealed the close genetic relationship between Williams, LS6161 R and Magoye. A link between Barc-2 and Williams was noted by the common parent Clark. Therefore, for these genotypes, the application of KSi at 200 ppm with Eco-T® under field conditions effectively increased seed yield, ranging from 0.45 to 65.26% for some genotypes when compared to the control. An increase was also noted for other agronomic traits and harvest index.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2012.


Soybean--Breeding--South Africa., Soybean--South Africa--Genetics., Soybean--Yields--South Africa., Soybean--Varieties--South Africa., Trichoderma., Nitrogen--Fixation., Silicon--Physiological effect., Theses--Plant breeding.