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Guo-Liang Jiang, Laban K. Rutto, and Shuxin Ren

Edamame is a vegetable or specialty soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) with high nutrition and market value. The market demand for edamame has significantly increased in the United States since its health and nutritional benefits became recognized. However, there are a limited number of domestically developed or improved edamame cultivars in the United States, and the knowledge of edamame is very limited. In this study, 86 breeding lines and cultivars of maturity group (MG) V and VI developed in the United States were evaluated in replicated field trials for edamame yield and agronomic traits in Virginia in 2015 and 2016. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the genotypes and between years in all the traits investigated (plant height, fresh biomass, pod yield, pod ratio, fresh seed yield, seed ratio, and 100-seed weights), but the yearly differences for dried 100-seed weight and dried-to-fresh ratio of seeds were insignificant. Genotype-by-year interaction effects were not significant in most cases. Estimates of the broad sense heritability varied with traits, from 23% to 88%. Coefficients of phenotypic and genotypic correlation were mostly low, but fresh pod and seed yields were highly correlated. Fresh biomass exhibited a positive phenotypic correlation with pod and seed yields, but the genotypic correlation coefficients were not significant. Twelve breeding lines were preliminarily identified to have greater edamame yield and desired traits. The information generated in this study will be helpful for edamame breeding and commercial production.

Open access

Laban K. Rutto, Yixiang Xu, Shuxin Ren, Holly Scoggins, and Jeanine Davis

‘Hop’ (Humulus lupulus) cultivar trials were conducted at sites in three Virginia counties (Northampton, Chesterfield, and Madison) in response to demand by the craft beer industry for local ingredients. In 2016, a replicated study involving five cultivars (Cascade, Chinook, Newport, Nugget, and Zeus) was established on an 18-ft-tall trellis system at each site. Weather data influencing infectivity of downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora humuli) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera macularis), two economically important hop diseases, was collected, and to the extent possible, similar cultural practices were applied at each site. Climatic conditions favorable to P. humuli and P. macularis were present throughout the experimental period, and P. humuli infection was widespread at all sites starting from 2017. Among common pests, Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) was the only one observed to cause significant damage. Unseasonably high rainfall in 2018 led to crop failure at all but the Northampton site, and harvesting was done at all sites only in 2017 and 2019. Yields (kilograms per hectare by weight) in 2017 were found to be ≥45% lower than second-year estimates for yards in the north and northwestern United States. Quality attributes (α and β acids; essential oil) for cones harvested from the Chesterfield site were comparable to published ranges for ‘Cascade’ in 2019, but lower for the other cultivars. More work is needed to identify or develop cultivars better suited to conditions in the southeastern United States. The influence of terroir on quality of commercial cultivars produced in the region should also be examined.