Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Plant Pathology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Forrest W. Nutter, Jr.

Second Advisor

Gregory L. Tylka


Soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., is an important source of oil and protein worldwide, and soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines, is among the most important yield-limiting factors in soybean production worldwide. Early detection of SCN is difficult because soybean plants infected by SCN often do not exhibit visible symptoms. It was hypothesized, however, that reflectance data obtained by remote sensing from soybean canopies may be used to detect plant stress caused by SCN infection. Moreover, reflectance measurements may be related to soybean growth and yield.;Two field experiments were conducted from 2000 to 2002 to study the relationships among reflectance data, quantity and quality of soybean yield, and SCN population densities. The best relationships between reflectance and the quantity of soybean grain yield occurred when reflectance data were obtained late August to early September. Similarly, reflectance was best related to seed oil and seed protein content and seed size when measured during late August/early September. Grain quality-reflectance relationships varied spatially and temporally.;Reflectance measured early or late in the season had the best relationships with SCN population densities measured at planting. Soil properties likely affected reflectance measurements obtained at the beginning of the season and somehow may have been related to SCN population densities at planting. Reflectance data obtained at the end of the growing season likely was affected by early senescence of SCN-infected soybeans.;Spatio-temporal aspects of SCN population densities in both experiments were assessed using spatial statistics and regression analyses. In the 2000 and 2001 growing seasons, spring-to-fall changes in SCN population densities were best related to SCN population densities at planting for both experiments. However, within-season changes in SCN population densities were best related to SCN population densities at harvest for both experiments in 2002. Variograms were fitted to the data to describe the spatial characteristics of SCN population densities in both fields at planting and at harvest from 2000 to 2003 and these parameters varied within seasons and during overwinter periods in both experiments. Distinct relationships between temporal and spatial changes in SCN population densities were not detected.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Antonio Jose de Araujo Moreira



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164 pages