Influence of Planting Date on Seed Protein, Oil, Sugars, Minerals, and Nitrogen Metabolism in Soybean under Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Environments


Information on the effect of planting date and irrigation on soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] seed composition in the Early Soybean Production System (ESPS) is deficient, and what is available is inconclusive. The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of planting date on seed protein, oil, fatty acids, sugars, and minerals in soybean grown under irrigated (I) and non-irrigated (NI) conditions. A 2-yr field experiment was conducted in Stoneville, MS in 2007 and 2008. Soybean was planted during second week of April (early planting) and second week of May (late planting) each year. Results showed that under irrigated condition, early planting increased seed oil (up to 16% increase) and oleic acid (up to 22.8% increase), but decreased protein (up to 6.6% decrease), linoleic (up to 10.9% decrease) and linolenic acids (up to 27.7% decrease) compared to late planting. Under I conditions, late planting resulted in higher sucrose and raffinose and lower stachyose compared with early planting. Under NI conditions, seed of early planting had higher protein (up to 4% increase) and oleic acid (up to 25% increase) and lower oil (up to10.8% decrease) and linolenic acids (up to 13% decrease) than those of late planting. Under NI, stachyose concentration was higher than sucrose or raffinose, especially in early planting. Under I, early planting resulted in lower leaf and seed B, Fe, and P concentrations compared with those of late planting. Under NI, however, early planting resulted in higher accumulation of leaf B and P, but lower seed B and P compared with those of late planting. This research demonstrated that both irrigation and planting date have a significant influence on seed protein, oil, unsaturated fatty acids, and sugars. Our results suggest that seed of late planting accumulate more B, P, and Fe than those of early planting, and this could be a beneficial gain. Limited translocation of nutrients from leaves to seed under NI is undesirable. Soybean producers may use this information to maintain yield and seed quality, and soybean breeders to select for seed quality traits and mineral translocation efficiency in stress environments.

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N. Bellaloui, K. Reddy, A. Gillen, D. Fisher and A. Mengistu, "Influence of Planting Date on Seed Protein, Oil, Sugars, Minerals, and Nitrogen Metabolism in Soybean under Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Environments," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 5, 2011, pp. 702-715. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2011.25085.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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