Soybean yields are affected by flooding to some degree. But, many farmers have found that soybeans differ greatly in their tolerance to flooding. Certain varieties, such as the proso type, recover quickly when submerged for a brief period. Due to this remarkable ability to grow underwater, soybeans could play a vital role in sustaining life in a major flood.
The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at a predefined temperature and relative humidity (RH) by Derrick Harrison and a team at the University of Arkansas. Scientists were testing how reliable and consistent germplasm screening can be in hydroponic systems in the greenhouse. This study aimed to determine how different varieties of soy react to flooding.
Plants suffer from oxygen deprivation when they are flooded, says Harrison. Our project pumped controlled amounts of carbon dioxide into the water. Adding carbon dioxide to a solution can prevent oxygen from being absorbed by the plant. The control group for the experiment was exposed to ambient air.
The test checked for four scenarios which examined soilless medium for starting soy from seed, system reality for sensitivity to flood, flood tolerance, and comparison between greenhouse and field trials.
“The greenhouse hydroponic system showed reliability, efficiency, and promise as a method for selecting soy based on flood tolerance,” says Harrison. “When compared to similar field trials, the greenhouse hydroponic system outperformed field trials.
While further research is required to improve the water-logging tolerance of soybeans, the research confirms six flood-tolerant varieties and four varieties that perform poorly in low-oxygen environments.