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Effect of CO2 on soybean maturity in the greenhouse

Principal Investigator: Kangfu Yu

Research Institution: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Timeline: April 2020 – March 2023  


  • To study the effect of CO2 on soybean maturity in the greenhouse.
  • To reduce soybean maturity date with higher concentration of CO2.
  • To speed up generation advancement in the greenhouse.


  • Speed up the breeding process for the development of soybean varieties for Canadian growers.
  • Decrease the spending of research fund for winter nursery.

Scientific Summary:

The slow generation times of soybean plants are currently a major hinderance to soybean breeding. Usually, breeders will use a winter nursery in South America to accelerate the generation advance. The use of a greenhouse can also help to advance the crop during winter. Unfortunately, it takes 4-5 months for soybean to mature in the greenhouse under normal conditions. However, it was reported that supplementation of CO2 can reduce the maturity date of soybean from 102 – 132 to 70 days in a growth chamber (Y. Nagatoshi and Y. Fujita, 2018). The objective of this study is to increase the CO2 concentration in the greenhouse to study the effect of CO2 on soybean maturity.

In October or November of each year, CO2 will be supplied to the greenhouse to reach a concentration of 750 ppm in 2020 and 850 ppm in 2021 and 1000 ppm in 2022. Plant growth and maturity will be recorded and compared to see the effect of higher CO2 on soybean maturity. The best concentration of CO2 will be identified under greenhouse conditions to reduce the maturity date from around 130 days to around 70 days so that two generations could be advanced in the greenhouse.