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The physiological response of soybean cultivars to abiotic stress

Marija Špoljarević (dissertation)


Drought, temperature and salt stress are the most prominent among different types of abiotic stress in soybean production. This PhD dissertation aimed to investigate the physiological mechanisms of soybean response to the above mentioned stresses. The research was performed with 6 cultivars in the germination – emergence stage and two cultivars in the flowering stage. In the first experiment, soybean seed was germinated in paper towels soaked in water or the solution with given osmotic pressure. Two levels of drought (5% and 10% PEG solutions), salt (50 and 100 mM NaCl solutions) and temperature stress (10°C and 30°C), as well as a control treatment (20°C, water) were applied through a 7 day germination period. Seed germinability (%) and morphological traits were analysed, as well as enzymatic and non-enzymatic parameters in hypocotyls. The most effective were higher level of drought stress and low temperature. High temperature stimulated seedling development and mild drought stress had a priming effect and increased germination rate. In the second experiment, two cultivars were grown in pots filled with soil and kept in the open until flowering, and afterwards exposed to different temperature degrees (30°C, 10°C and 20°C as control) during 3 days in a climate chamber. The photosynthesis efficiency parameters and, like in first experiment, physiological indicators of plant stress response were determined in the leaf tissue. Highly significant treatment influence on the analysed parameters in the both growth stages, confirms that the applied treatments invoked the oxidative stress and defence reactions in soybean.

Correspondent author:
Marija Špoljarević, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek, Osijek, Croatia,