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Early physiological mechanisms affecting soybean roots in response to neighbouring weeds

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Title: Early physiological mechanisms affecting soybean roots in response to neighbouring weeds
Author: Gal, Jessica
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Swanton, Dr. Clarence
Abstract: Plant competition studies rarely explore how plant to plant interaction can affect roots. In this study, we explored how the presence of aboveground neighbouring weeds could alter soybean seedling root structure and physiology. We hypothesized that in the presence of aboveground weeds, soybean root biomass and nodulation would be reduced, and that the reduction in nodulation would be caused by a loss in total flavonoid content. A non-limiting resource, growth chamber study was conducted to test this hypothesis. The results from this study supported our hypothesis. In the presence of aboveground weeds, soybean root biomass and nodulation were reduced. An accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and an increase in lipid peroxidation were also observed. In addition, total flavonoid content was reduced. This research begins to provide insight into the molecular pathway of how Far Red light affects crop plants. Understanding these mechanisms may aid in the development of soybean varieties that are more tolerant of the consequences of weed competition.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8667
Date: 2014
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