Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elmer Gray, James Martin, James Worthington

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


The effects of cultivars and plant spacings on biological yield, seed yield, seeds per pod, average seed weight, and harvest index of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were studied in 1987 and 1988. Two cultivars, 'Blue Lake 27' and 'Kentucky Wonder 125' and four plant spacings -- 7, 14, 21, and 28 cm, constituted eight treatments that were arranged in a split-plot with four replications. Each experimental unit or hill consisted of five plants -- four in the corners and one in the center of a square. Spacings treatment were established by varying the distance between the center plant and the four corner plants. Corner plants provided competition; only the center plant was harvested for experimental data. The data were subjected to analysis of variance procedure for a split-plot design, assuming a fixed model.

The cultivars had similar biological yield curves during the 1987 growing season and did not differ significantly for biological yield at the final harvest either year. Kentucky Wonder 125 produced significantly higher average seed weight and harvest index, but fewer seeds per pod, than did Blue Lake 274. In 1987, seed yield per plant was higher for Blue Lake 274 than for Kentucky Wonder 125; however, the cultivars did not differ significantly for seed yield per plant in 1988.

Spacing treatment effects were not significant when expressed through seed yield per plant, seeds per pod, average seed weight, or harvest index. Spacings affected biological yield significantly in 1988, but not in 1987. The linear response of biological yield to spacing was positive and significant both years. The linear effect of spacings on pod yield was significant in 1988, but not in 1987.

Drought conditions in 1987 and 1988 adversely affected bean growth and seed production. The experimental error, as evidenced by large coefficients of variation for treatment means, was unusually high. Consequently, some true cultivar and spacing effects may not have been detected.


Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences