Soybean is one of the world’s most widely grown and economically significant crops, having an extensive range of end uses. Understanding soybean growth and physiology is paramount to maximising its productivity and optimising its yield. This chapter highlights recent advances in understanding soybean development, and the genetic factors underpinning the molecular mechanisms that drive it. The main physiological, molecular and bioinformatic approaches used to progress this rapidly growing research area are also outlined. Outcomes that improve the understanding of soybean growth and development could aid in the targeted selection of superior varieties, helping to maximise yields in an array of environmental conditions. Moreover, using soybean as a model species can assist in improving food security, soil health and agricultural sustainability via the enhanced understanding of legume nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Optimising these processes can help in reducing the use of expensive, often polluting, nitrogen-based fertilisers in agriculture.
Table of contents
2 Biological nitrogen fixation in soybean
3 Classical techniques for understanding soybean physiology
4 Mutagenesis methods and soybean mutant lines
5 Modern experimental techniques applicable to soybean physiology research
6 The soybean genome and associated bioinformatics resources
8 Where to look for further information