The present study was conducted with eight cultivars of soybean (Glycine max) to determine the effect of exclusion of solar UV-B on the vegetative growth (plant height, leaf area, no. of nodes), UV absorbing compounds (implicated in UV protection) and crop yield (No. of pods and seed weight) and to determine the cultivar difference in their sensitivity to ambient UV-B. Exclusion of solar UV-B enhanced the vegetative growth and yield of all the soybean cultivars. The results showed a significant inverse association between the enhancement in vegetative growth and number of pods among the cultivars tested, indicating differences in the carbon partitioning amongst the cultivars by the way of exclusion of solar UV-B. NRC-7, Pusa-24 and JS-335 showed maximum promotion in vegetative growth and less enhancement in crop yield after solar UV-B exclusion. Kalitur, JS71-05, Hardee, PK-472 and PK-1029 showed improved performance both in terms of number of pods/plant and seed weight after solar UV-B exclusion. An enhancement in the crop yield by exclusion of solar UV-B indicated poor response of the cultivar to the ambient solar UV-B; these cultivars would be more suitable at latitudes, which received less UV-B. According to UV-SI, sensitivity of eight Indian soybean cultivars to ambient level of UV-B (280-320 nm) radiation had the following descending order; PK-472 > JS-335 > Hardee > Kalitur > JS71-05 > Pusa-24 > NRC-7 > PK-1029. These findings suggest the way to select the best-suited cultivar for particular latitude.
Exclusion; Leaf Area; Sensitivity index; UV-Absorbing substances