Irradiance continuously fluctuates during the day in the field. The speed of the induction response of photosynthesis in high light affects the cumulative carbon gain of the plant and could impact growth and yield. The photosynthetic induction response and its relationship with the photosynthetic capacity under steady-state conditions (Pmax) were evaluated in 37 diverse soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] genotypes. The induction response of leaf photosynthesis showed large variation among the soybean genotypes. After 5 min illumination with strong light, genotype NAM23 had the highest leaf photosynthetic rate of 33.8 µmol CO2 m−2 s−1, while genotype NAM12 showed the lowest rate at 4.7 µmol CO2 m−2 s−1. Cumulative CO2 fixation (CCF) during the first 5 min of high light exposure ranged from 5.5 mmol CO2 m−2 for NAM23 to 0.81 mmol CO2 m−2 for NAM12. The difference in the induction response among genotypes was consistent throughout the growth season. However, there was no significant correlation between CCF and Pmax among genotypes suggesting that different mechanisms regulate Pmax and the induction response. The observed variation in the induction response was mainly attributed to ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activation, but soybean lines differing in the induction response did not differ in the leaf content of Rubisco activase α- and β-proteins. Future studies will be focused on identifying molecular determinants of the photosynthetic induction response and determining whether this trait could be an important breeding target to achieve improved growth of soybeans in the field.
- Photosynthetic capacity
- Photosynthetic induction response
- Rubisco activase
- Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology