Limited observations of soybean plant response of transpiration rate (TR) to vapor pressure deficit (VPD) have indicated the existence of genotypes with nearly constant TR at high VPD. The range of expression of this trait in a given population within a species has not been explored. To initiate study of this possibility, 22 genotypes from a RIL population derived from a cross of PI 416937 and Benning were characterized for their VPD response. Genotype PI 416937 has been shown to reach a maximum TR at a VPD as low as 2 kPa. Surprisingly, Benning was not found to have a continually increasing TR with VPD, but rather it had a two-segment TR response very similar to PI 416937. Unexpectedly, only one of the studied RILs had a TR response similar to the parents. Thirteen RILs had a continually increasing TR with increasing VPD. Eight RILs reached a maximum TR occurring at VPD of about 1.3 kPa, significantly lower value than that of the parents. While the inheritance of the maximum TR trait is clearly complex, these results offer encouragement that the VPD at which plants limit TR might vary so that the trait can be tailored to maximize potential yield increase in different water-deficit environments.
- Recombinant inbred line
- Vapor pressure deficit