Farmer observations and previous studies indicated that reductions in soybean yield caused by the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are greater when other stresses, biotic or abiotic, are present. Also, it has been reported that the effect of SCN on soybean growth depended on factors such as soil pH, soil texture, and herbicides. Although postemergence herbicides may adversely affect soybean metabolism, acifluorfen can reduce SCN infection. The objective of the present study was to determine the main and interactive effects of SCN egg population density (SCND), soil pH, soil texture, and the application of the herbicides acifluorfen, glyphosate, and imazethapyr on early soybean growth. Greenhouse studies assessed different combinations of these factors for 65 d after planting. No interactions were observed for any of the main effects. Soil pH and texture did not affect soybean growth. SCND was the only main effect that explained soybean growth reductions. The effect of SCND on soybean growth was exhibited as 15–50% decreases of leaf area index (LAI) and dry weight in all cases, but reductions in plant height also were observed. No relationship between SCND and the number of SCN eggs recovered at the end of the experiment was observed. Herbicides did not reduce soybean growth, although acifluorfen consistently caused the highest soybean injury reaching 18–20% from 1–14 days after application (DAA). At 50 DAA, acifluorfen injury was negligible, and soybean LAI and dry weight did not differ from the nontreated control. These results indicated that the effect of SCN on soybean growth was not directly affected by the other evaluated main effects. Therefore, trends observed in the field that suggested interactions between those factors are likely the result of other factors not considered in the present study or to more complex relationships between factors analyzed in the present study and other elements present in the field.
Nomenclature: Acifluorfen, glyphosate, imazethapyr; soybean; soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines Ichinoche.
Additional index words: Herbicide injury, nematode infection.
Abbreviations: AMS, ammonium sulfate; COC, crop oil concentrate; DAA, days after application; DAP, days after planting; LAI, leaf area index: MSO, methylated seed oil; PPFD, photosynthetic photon flux density; SCN, soybean cyst nematode; SCND, SCN egg population density.