, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 92–98 | Cite as

Soybean leaf nitrogen, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll a/b ratio

  • F. B. Fritschi
  • J. D. RayEmail author
Original Papers


The objective of this study was to assess genotypic variation in soybean chlorophyll (Chl) content and composition, and to test if these data could be used as a rapid screening method to predict genotypic variation in leaf tissue N content. Chl contents and composition were examined among 833 soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) accessions and related to SPAD meter readings and leaf N content. In the initial year of the study (2002), the relationship between leaf Chl and leaf N contents (r 2 = 0.043) was not sufficiently close for Chl to be useful as a predictive tool for leaf N content. Therefore, leaf N content was not determined in 2004 but samples were again collected for determination of Chl content and composition. In 2002, the soybean accessions separated into two distinct groups according to leaf Chl a/b ratios, with the majority of a mean ratio of 3.79. However, approximately 7 % (60) of the genotypes could be readily assigned to a group with a mean Chl a/b ratio of 2.67. Chl a/b analyses in 2004 confirmed the results obtained in 2002 and of 202 genotypes, all but 6 fell into the same group as in 2002.

Additional key words

areal leaf mass canopy Glycine max leaf insertion light-harvesting complex photosystem 2 SPAD 



areal leaf mass




light-harvesting complex 2


photosystem 2


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA-ARS, Crop Genetics and Production Research UnitStonevilleUSA

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