PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


Rising global temperatures are challenging agricultural productivity and can affect soybean yield through many physiological and metabolic processes. Recent regression analyses indicate that soybean yield is depressed in warmer years. This research aims to help determine which processes are affected by heat stress, such as photosynthesis, plant development, leaf area index and yield. The experiment consists of two different varieties of commercial Illinois soybeans, which will be continually heated throughout the growing season in order to compare the physiological characteristics of the soybeans in the heated arrays to those growing in ambient conditions. Data collected on photosynthesis, plant development, leaf area index, and yield will indicate how heat stress directly impacts photosynthesis, plant development, reproductive development, and yield. With these results, we can predict how heat stress will impact soybean varieties across the United States.


Dr. Ainsworth’s Laboaratory,, is part of the Carl. R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1559908/1559929, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



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