High-throughput phenotyping allows the selection of soybean genotypes for earliness and high grain yield

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2022-12-01

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Background: Precision agriculture techniques are widely used to optimize fertilizer and soil applications. Furthermore, these techniques could also be combined with new statistical tools to assist in phenotyping in breeding programs. In this study, the research hypothesis was that soybean cultivars show phenotypic differences concerning wavelength and vegetation index measurements. Results: In this research, we associate variables obtained via high-throughput phenotyping with the grain yield and cycle of soybean genotypes. The experiment was carried out during the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 crop seasons, under a randomized block design with four replications. The evaluated soybean genotypes included 7067, 7110, 7739, 8372, Bonus, Desafio, Maracai, Foco, Pop, and Soyouro. The phenotypic traits evaluated were: first pod height (FPH), plant height (PH), number of branches (NB), stem diameter (SD), days to maturity (DM), and grain yield (YIE). The spectral variables evaluated were wavelengths and vegetation indices (NDVI, SAVI, GNDVI, NDRE, SCCCI, EVI, and MSAVI). The genotypes Maracai and Foco showed the highest grain yields throughout the crop seasons, in addition to belonging to the groups with the highest means for all VIs. YIE was positively correlated with the NDVI and certain wavelengths (735 and 790 nm), indicating that genotypes with higher values for these spectral variables are more productive. By path analyses, GNDVI and NDRE had the highest direct effects on the dependent variable DM, while NDVI had a higher direct effect on YIE. Conclusions: Our findings revealed that early and productive genotypes can be selected based on vegetation indices and wavelengths. Soybean genotypes with a high grain yield have higher means for NDVI and certain wavelengths (735 and 790 nm). Early genotypes have higher means for NDRE and GNDVI. These results reinforce the importance of high-throughput phenotyping as an essential tool in soybean breeding programs.

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Plant Methods, v. 18, n. 1, 2022.

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