Soybean Seed Protein, Oil, Fatty Acids, and Isoflavones Altered by Potassium Fertilizer Rates in the Midsouth


Previous research has shown that the effect of potassium fertilizer on soybean ([Glycine max (L.) Merr.] seed composition (protein, oil, fatty acids, and isoflavones) is still largely unknown. Therefore, the objective of this research was to investigate the effects of potassium application on seed protein, oil, fatty acids, and isoflavones under Midsouth environmental conditions. A three-year experiment was conducted in two locations (Milan, TN and Jackson, TN). Potassium (K) rates were applied in the form of K2O at a rate of 0 (Control, C), 45 (T1), 90 (T2), 134 (T3), and 179 (T4) kg·ha-1 in a randomized complete block design. The results showed that increasing the K application rate did not result in consistent effects on yield. However, increasing K application rate did increase protein, oleic acid, and individual and total isoflavone concentrations at both locations in 2008 and 2009. In Jackson in 2010, the increase of K rate did not change oleic acid, but resulted in an increase in glycitein and genistein isoflavone concentrations. In 2010, increasing K application rate increased protein concentrations, decreased individual and total isoflavones, and did not change oleic acid concentration at Milan. At the highest rate of K, 179 kg·ha-1, yield and some seed composition constituents were negatively impacted. Generally, K concentration in leaves at V5, R1, R3, and seed at harvest maturity stage (R8) increased with the increase of K rate applications. The research demonstrated that K application can alter seed composition, but this alteration depended on location, environmental stress factors, mainly heat and drought, K level in soil, and K application rate. Higher rates of K application may negatively impact seed composition constituents.

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N. Bellaloui, X. Yin, A. Mengistu, A. McClure, D. Tyler and K. Reddy, "Soybean Seed Protein, Oil, Fatty Acids, and Isoflavones Altered by Potassium Fertilizer Rates in the Midsouth," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 976-988. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.45121.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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