Skip to main content

Effect of Light Wavelength on Soybean Growth and Development in a Context of Speed Breeding

Cite this dataset

Mozzoni, Leandro (2021). Effect of Light Wavelength on Soybean Growth and Development in a Context of Speed Breeding [Dataset]. Dryad.


Soybean breeding involves crossing and inbreeding for multiple generations to develop genetically-stable lines. The long generation times and the absence of easily-scalable double-haploid technologies cause early generations to be the major bottleneck in soybean breeding. Here we tested the effect of red and blue lights (RB) and full spectrum white lights (FS) generated by light emitting diode (LED) panels, coupled with 12 h light (29 °C) / 12 h darkness (27 °C) photothermal conditions, on the growth and development of soybean lines and breeding materials of diverse maturity groups in a context of speed breeding. We observed that RB light, when compared to FS light, reduced plant height by an average of 17.3 cm but did not affect vegetative biomass, pods and seeds per plants, nor the ability to meet a minimum of one seed per plant. Overall, the RB light treatment reduced days after planting (DAP) to physiological maturity (R7) by 1.5 d as compared to FS. The period between planting and the harvest of seeds (cycle time) of mid- and late-maturity soybean ranged from 63 to 81 d in the greenhouse, as compared to approximately 120 d typically observed in field conditions. Also, DAP to R7 was dependent on soybean maturity group. The use of RB lights, coupled with photothermal conditions herein reported, would allow to advance up to 5 generations of US-adapted soybean under a controlled environment, instead of the 1-3 generations currently possible. This methodology is simple and easily scalable for it maintains stable growing conditions throughout the crop cycle and it allows for simultaneous planting and harvesting within the same growth room. This could have a significant impact in genetic gain of U.S. soybean breeding programs.


Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board