Line selection and correlation between traits of soybean genotypes under high naturally occurring stink bug infestation
The soybean crop is undoubtedly important to not only Brazil but also for most parts of the globe, as economic and social dependency upon this crop becomes evident. However, the scenario of the soybean crop production has faced challenges with environmental changes, which have escalated the incidence of pests. Due to the abundance of stink bugs, especially Euschistus heros in tropical regions, they can considerably impact the productivity of the crop compromising total grain yield and seed quality. Therefore, this research was aimed to evaluate soybean lines with desirable agronomic traits under high natural infestation of Euschistus heros and to access the genotypic and phenotypic correlations between important agronomic traits for soybean breeding. Twenty-three soybean F8 lines developed by the Soybean Breeding Program of Federal University of Uberlândia and four cultivars (Msoy 8527, UFUS Xavante, Msoy 8787, and UFUS Milionária) were evaluated under randomized complete block design with three repetitions during the growing season of 2015/2016 and 16 agronomic traits were accessed. There was genetic variability for all traits but Asian soybean rust severity at 1% probability level through F test. For all traits in the study but the total number of pods and Asian soybean rust severity, the coefficient of genotypic determination was superior to 70%, indicating that the most part of phenotypic variability was due to genetic differences among the genotypes in study. Grain yield was demonstrated to be a useful trait for indirect selection of soybean genotypes with resistance to brown stink bugs. Also, early cycle genotypes, heavy seeds and a higher number of pods revealed a positive correlation with grain yield over the same conditions. The lines G1, G2, and G24 are very promising genotypes as they have shown valuable agronomic traits for stink bug resistance.