Cultivar tests under tropical environments could be an approach to explore soybean productivity under high temperature. Twenty-nine soybean cultivars divided into five groups with temperate origin (Japanese and US) and tropical origin (Indonesian-old, Indonesian-modern and other tropical) were grown for two years in a tropical environment at Banten, Indonesia, with minimal season-to-season variation in air temperature and day-length. Temperate cultivars were earlier in flowering and shorter in duration from R1 to R5. Temperate cultivars had a seed yield of 157 g m−2 (mean temperate cultivars) compared to 249 g m−2 (tropical cultivars), which was due to having lower values of pods, seed number and TDW. In addition, the occurrence of shriveling and smaller seed size compared to plants grown in their region of origin was considerably evident in Japanese cultivars. To account for the difference of growth duration, a maturity-corrected index for yield and relevant variables was calculated to consider the amount of incident solar radiation. The yield index for all tested cultivars ranged from.49 to 1.48, and Japanese cultivars showed the lowest yield index (.67), followed by US cultivars (.87), whereas tropical cultivars had index means from 1.05 to 1.20. Although they were both of temperate origin, Japanese cultivars tended to show a lower index than US cultivars. The tendency was similar for TDW and node number. The poor performance of temperate cultivars even after correction suggests that there is a genetic variation of adaptation to a tropical environment independent of growth duration. Additionally, there was considerable performance variation within temperate cultivars.
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