Response of Soybean Growth and N2-Fixing Ability to Progressive Insect-Induced Defoliation

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Greenhouse-grown, vegetative 'Davis' soybean plants, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, were infested with neonate larvae of the soybean looper,Pseudoplusia includens (Walker), which were allowed to defoliate the plants for 16 d. At 7, 10, 12, 14, and 16 d after infestation (DAI), plants were destructively sampled to measure plant growth and N2-fixing ability (measured using the acetylene-ethylene reduction assay). On the respective sample dates, defoliated plants suffered 13, 37, 43, 62, and 73% defoliation relative to controls. This progressive defoliation caused significant reductions in dry weight of stems by 10 DAI, and of roots and nodules by 14 DAI. Number of nodules and mean dry weight per individual nodule were not affected during the course of the experiment. N2-fixing ability was reduced significantly by 10 DAI, largely because of a significant decrease in nodule specific activity (NSA).further decreases in N2-fixing ability at 14 and 16 DAI resulted from a combination of decreased nodule weight and decreased NSA.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1989

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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