Evaluation of Yield Performance of Soybean Mutant FM6-847 in North Carolina
Soybean is a well-known crop for its protein, oil, fatty acids, minerals, isoflavones, and other bioactive compounds. The high yielding mutant FM6-847 was developed through ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) mutagenesis. FM6-847 was derived from soybean cultivar Forrest and the yield performance of FM6-847 was not evaluated in North Carolina. The objective of this study was to evaluate the yield performance of the mutant FM6-847 compared to three USDA reference lines LD00-2817, LD06-7620, and LD07-3395 in a field trial in Fayetteville, NC over a period of two years (2016–2017). We compared plant height (PH), pod numbers (Pod#), seed number (Seed#), 100-seed weight (100-SW), and total seed weight (TSW) of the mutant and USDA reference lines. In addition, we investigated the presence of Rhizobia, nitrogen fixing bacteria that help in increasing the yield of legumes through enriching nutrients by nitrogen fixation. The results showed that the mean TSW of mutant line was significantly higher (P<0.05) than all of the USDA reference lines in 2017 trial. The yield parameters of PH, pod#, seed#, and 100-SW were also significantly different between the soybean mutant line with more than one USDA reference lines. The contribution of yield parameters to the TSW was also analyzed and these parameters were significantly contributing to the TSW based on linear fixed model. The first two principal components explained more than 70% phenotypic variation among variables in the dataset based on the results of principal component analysis (PCA). Finally, a total of 13 bacterial strains including nitrogen fixation bacteria Rhizobium giardinii were identified in the soil of the field trial.