Effects of genotype, environment and genotype by environment interaction on soybean protein and amino acid content using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy
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Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] protein and amino acid contents are important for soybean quality assessment. It is desirable to cultivate high protein soybean to meet the nutritional requirements for both animal and human. The current study evaluates the effects of genotype, environment and genotype × environment interactions on soybean protein and amino acid concentrations. A relatively new method named near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was used to measure crude protein and amino acid contents in soybean grain. The predictive ability of NIR calibration models and factors that influence the performance of the NIR system were estimated. The effects of genotype, environment and genotype × environment interactions on soybean protein and amino acid contents were significant (P < 0.05). Among those factors, genotype explained the main part of variation for all traits. Protein and amino acids responded differently to various environments, but the favorable environments for soybean protein and amino acids accumulation were still unclear. The NIR calibration models for crude protein and most amino acids except for cysteine (Cys), methionine (Met) and tryptophan (Trp), showed acceptable coefficients of determination (R2c = 0.605-0.952), while models for Cys, Met and Trp might be less accurate (R2c = 0.498-0.667 for Cys, R2c = 0.482-0.615 for Met and R2c = 0.406-0.481 for Trp). The grinding process and lipid extraction improved the R2c values of NIR calibration models for crude protein and most amino acid predictions. Strong correlations (R = 0.85-0.97) and no significant difference (P > 0.05) were found between crude protein and amino acid contents predicted by two different types of NIR spectroscopy instrument: PerkinElmer DA 7250 and PerkinElmer FT 9700. This work has the potential to develop a faster way for measuring crude protein and amino acid contents in soybean grain and help soybean farmers to select the optimal soybean varieties based on different purposes.
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