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Quality Instrumentation for the Life Sciences

Webinars

PP Systems offers webinars highlighting some of the important research our customers are performing. Please sign up below if a topic is of interest to you. Would you like to be notified of upcoming webinars? Simply provide your name and email below and we will be happy to notify you!

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Past Webinars

Measuring breathing rocks – carbon dioxide release during sedimentary rock weathering | 05.12.22

Dr. Hilton’s recently published research on the subject: Temperature control on CO2 emissions from the weathering of sedimentary rocks

Publisher’s website | Open access version

Presented by Robert Hilton, Ph.D.

When rocks are exposed at the surface they can be weathered, altering their physical and chemical properties. When this happens, carbon can be transferred between the atmosphere and rocks. Sedimentary rocks contain organic matter that is millions of years old, alongside sulfide and carbonate minerals. When the organic matter interacts with air, water, and life, weathering reactions can lead to the release of carbon dioxide. This is a natural process that is important in the long-term carbon cycle but has remained poorly understood because we have lacked measurements of the carbon dioxide release.

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In this 5-year project funded by the European Research Council, Dr. Hilton and his team designed and implemented new methods to make these measurements. At a site in France, they found fluxes that varied throughout the year, showing an increase with temperature. This webinar will discuss the methods they designed, and some of the technical challenges they faced, alongside a summary of the main results.

About Dr. Hilton

Dr. Hilton is a geochemist and professor of Sedimentary Geology at the University of Oxford, UK, and lead of the ROC-CO2 project. He studies the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and rocks, and how these carbon transfers respond to and drive climate change. His research quantifies how erosion and weathering processes act as CO2 sinks, and CO2 sources, and transfer CO2 between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and oceans, and long-term, geological storage in sedimentary deposits.

To do this, he has developed several geochemical approaches, which include trace element proxies of weathering and their isotopes (e.g. rhenium), while also tracking carbon as CO­2, dissolved and particulate organic carbon, and their radiocarbon and stable C isotope composition.

His main focus is on modern river catchments to constrain fluxes and their controls, including work on small catchments in the European Alps, New Zealand (East Cape and Southern Alps), Taiwan, Sichuan, Andes, alongside over a decade of work in the Mackenzie River basin.

His research currently tackles four main themes: Environmental controls on CO2 emissions from weathering of sedimentary rocks, oxidative weathering in the geological past, extreme geomorphic events for carbon export from the terrestrial biosphere, and greenhouse gases released from Arctic Rivers in a warming world.

Measurements of carbon assimilation reveal competition asymmetry in wetland invaded by Phragmites australis | 04.05.21

Presented by Rebecca C. Rooney, Ph.D.

Dr. Rebecca Rooney shares her research on the interspecific competition between an aggressive and highly problematic wetland invader called common reed (Phragmites australis) and three of the typical wetland dominant species that common reed displaces in freshwater marshes.

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All four species are perennial graminoids, capable of reproducing vegetatively through rhizomes, limiting the usefulness of typical measures of aboveground biomass due to flexibility in resource allocation behaviors under different environmental conditions.

Considering only aboveground biomass, the relative competition index would suggest that the three species of plants being displaced by invasive common reed were actually growing more under competition. Incorporating measures of carbon assimilation reveals that interspecific competition did disadvantage the three displaced species, but their response to growing under shade from invasive common reed was to allocate more resources to aboveground production and less to belowground growth and storage.

This study highlights the value in instantaneous measures of plant production alongside aggregate measures like aboveground biomass in teasing apart the effects of competition and biological invasions on wetland plant communities.

About Dr. Rooney

Dr. Rebecca C. Rooney is a wetland ecologist and associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. Her research program focuses on the response of wetland communities to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and given hundreds of presentations to scientific and lay audiences.

Her comprehensive research into the effects of common reed invasion in coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes has enhanced our understanding of the effects of biological invasion on plants, invertebrate communities, carbon and nutrient cycling, bird communities, and their foraging behavior. She has also investigated the recovery of species at risk plants and birds following common reed management.

Her current studies focus on the recovery of native plants and ecosystem functions following herbicide application and insect-based biocontrol to eliminate common reed, including developing invasion-resistant native seed prescriptions for active restoration.

Total diffuse CO2 flux across Yellowstone: Going beyond thermally active, altered basins for adequate quantification | 11.09.21

Presented by Kristen Rahilly, Ph.D. & Tobias Fischer, Ph.D.

Kristen Rahilly Ph.D. and Tobias Fischer Ph.D. discuss their research showing that thermally inactive, cold degassing sites can emit more diffuse CO2 per km2 than thermally active basins and why the contribution of these cold degassing sites must be included in calculations of total diffuse CO2 flux for adequate quantification of Yellowstone’s role as a major contributor within the global volcanic CO2 budget.

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Topics covered include:

  • Diffuse CO2 flux from cold degassing and thermally active soils
  • Collecting soil CO2 gas samples in the field for later carbon isotope composition analyses

About Dr. Rahilly

Kristen Rahilly is a Frontiers of Science postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, where she spent time in the field measuring diffuse carbon dioxide flux at Yellowstone caldera, Valles caldera in New Mexico, and across geothermal sites in southwestern Utah.

Follow Dr. Rahilly: @backyardgeology   Twitter    Instagram

About Dr. Fischer

Tobias Fischer has over 25 years of experience with volcanic gas sampling and analysis. Recently he has led an international group of researchers to better constrain global volcanic carbon emissions through the Deep Carbon Observatory and is currently leading a Research Coordination Network on coordinating the scientific community with USGS Volcano Observatories to respond to volcanic eruptions in the U.S. He is director of the University of New Mexico Volatiles Laboratory where analyses of major and trace gases in gas and water samples using gas chromatography and quadrupole mass spectrometry are routinely performed.

Extensive work in East Africa resulted in the advancement of our understanding of the role of volatiles in the formation of continental rifts and three field seasons to Erebus Volcano, Antarctica shed light on processes in sub-glacial hydrothermal systems. Earlier work provided insights into eruption processes using gas geochemistry which is also a current focus of ongoing research that involves the utilization of drones and other gas sensing and sampling instrumentation.

Education:
Ph.D., Arizona State University, 1999
M.Sc., Arizona State University, 1994
B.S., Albert Ludwidgs Universitaet, Freiburg, Germany 1991

Toxicity Assessment in Water: Best biomonitoring practices and technology to provide real-time status of drinking water quality. | 10.21.21

Presented by Detlev Lohse, Ph.D.

Water is one of the most precious resources on earth. Pollutants from industry and raw material extraction are dangerously impacting water quality on a daily basis. The US EPA reports that more than 80,000 known contaminants may be present in the water of US homes. Drinking water supplies for more than six million Americans contain unsafe levels of industrial chemicals.

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Those chemicals include chlorines, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and heavy metals. All of them pose risks to human health, the effects of which depend on the content of the pollutants. It is therefore important to monitor water quality. Surface water is particularly vulnerable to contaminants. The use of biological sensors—biomonitors—are used to quickly survey and provide the real-time status and an incoming decrease of water quality. The focus of this webinar is to provide insight as to current forms of biomonitoring.

Topics discussed include:

  • About toxicity
  • Toxicity and biomonitoring
  • Dose response effects
  • Fish, waterfly, or microalgae—what is a suitable model organism
  • Toxic events & alarm recognition

About Dr. Lohse

Dr. Lohse studied biochemistry at the University of Hannover, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Düsseldorf in 1986. He spent more than ten years in fundamental research specializing in plant biochemistry. For more than 22 years, Detlev’s focus has been on knowledge transfer regarding photosynthetic processes and algal pigments.

Exploring Soil Carbon Capture Across Ecosystems
and energizing the next generation of transformative scientists | 09.30.21

Presented by the labs of A. Peyton Smith, Ph.D. & Julie Loisel, Ph.D.

Learn about the collective research of Drs. A. Peyton Smith & Julie Loisel from Texas A&M University on global change impacts on soil carbon capture – from the tropics to the arctic. Experience how soils forming high above the ground in tropical tree canopies to sustainably managed semi-arid agricultural soils to permafrost-affected soils respond to climate and land-use change. This webinar will also highlight the importance of creativity in science and multi-form mentoring in order to launch today’s students into transformative scientists.

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Topics discussed include:

  • Impact of climate warming on CO2 production from mineral and organic permafrost soils
  • Soil carbon dynamics in soil health quantification
  • Payment for Ecosystem Service programs and tropical soil C stocks
  • Capturing soil carbon dynamics in the tropical forest canopies
  • Creativity in science and the importance of mentoring
  • How to increase student engagement in environmental science through soil carbon measurements

About Dr. Smith & Dr. Loisel

Dr. Peyton SmithDr. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. As a soil ecologist, her research focuses on how physical, biological, and chemical processes interact at soil aggregate or pore scales to alter the flow of carbon and nutrients at the field or landscape scale. Dr. Smith also investigates how global change influences the soil microbiome and their role in fundamental biogeochemical processes in both natural and agro-ecosystems. Despite being an early career scientist, she has mentored over 30 students and postdocs, many of who have secured successful positions in academia or governmental agencies.

Julie LoiselDr. Loisel is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University and heads the Texas A & M Peat lab which focuses on peatlands research and climate change. If she had it her way, she would only teach field courses, as she believes the connection between student and nature is essential to help them appreciate the world’s intricate complexity (and beauty), which then leads to better stewardship. Her research revolves around carbon cycling in wetlands worldwide. In her lab, students reconstruct past climate change using a suite of natural relics that are left in the soil layers over time (such as pollen grains, plant fossils, and many others); these climate reconstructions are then used to better understand the sensitivity of carbon cycling in wetlands over time. For example, her group has established that a past warm period (about 9000 years ago) led to rapid carbon sequestration across high-latitude peatlands, which suggests that future climate change may help some peatlands store carbon at a greater rate than now.

Carboxylation capacity limits photosynthesis at elevated CO2 throughout diurnal cycles | 08.25.21

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

Most ecosystem/canopy photosynthesis models assume that leaf CO2 assimilation rate at ambient CO2 is limited by the maximum carboxylation capacity of Rubisco at high light, but by electron transport at less than saturating light.

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Extrapolation to elevated CO2 either uses the same assumptions or assumes that electron transport rather than carboxylation capacity remains limiting at high light. These experiments tested these hypotheses for three species, throughout whole days in the field.

Learn how to:

  • Determine what limits photosynthesis biochemically at any time of the day
  • Conduct and interpret diurnal curves of photosynthesis.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist. His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

Cold Chasing Electrons: Dissection of early cold-induced deficiency in soybean | 07.28.21

Presented by Jennifer Robison, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, Manchester University

Join Dr. Robison and chase electrons through PSII during early cold stress in soybean using the Handy PEA+ system.

  • Learn how to interpret fast chlorophyll fluorescence induction curves
  • Step-by-step parameter analysis beyond Fv/Fm

About Dr. Robison

Jennifer Robison, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Manchester University. She has been teaching undergraduates for over a decade. Her research specializes in the physiological and molecular response of plants to abiotic stress. Outside of the lab, she is a single mom and amateur glassblower.

CO2 Efflux in Four Compost Windrows: Understanding how to minimize the loss of carbon through emissions during the compost maturation process | 05.20.21

Presented by Travis Pennell with Louis-Pierre Comeau, Ph.D.

Learn what the Comeau Lab at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre has learned by measuring carbon flux and organic carbon, focusing on four windrows that represented the two main compositions found on the site: solid-state organic waste and mixed industrial waste from local businesses. This important research contributes to a broader understanding of how to minimize the loss of carbon through emissions during the compost maturation process

About Travis Pennell & Dr. Comeau

Travis holds a BSc in Environment & Natural Resource Management from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). He has worked with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) since the project began last summer and continues to work with researchers and instructors at UNB to further pursue his interest in soil science and soil management. He is also involved in a smaller project focused on mapping soil compaction in heavily disturbed areas and has been a teaching assistant for the introductory soil science course at UNB.

Dr. Louis-Pierre Comeau is a research scientist with the Federal Government of Canada. His research is focused on landscape and soil carbon – specifically investigating ways to replenish soil organic matter from agricultural and forest lands.

Dr. Comeau collaborates in initiatives to protect soil health from the effect of global warming and climate change and leads national projects that investigate the relationship between soil biodiversity and carbon storage as well as projects on compost optimization. His long-term scientific goal is to contribute knowledge as to why some carbon molecules remain stable in the soil for thousands of years.

Dr. Comeau is now working on a ground-breaking Canadian soil mapping project which is the first of its kind in Canada. The main goal of the endeavor is to pull all of the results from broad soil carbon and biodiversity surveys together with the use of supercomputers to create detailed maps of what he calls the soil universe.

Dr. Comeau began his Research Scientist appointment with AAFC after his postdoctoral fellowship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Comeau previously completed a B.Sc. in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; an M.Sc. in Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan; and a PhD. in soil Science at the University of Aberdeen UK (with the fieldwork done in Indonesian forests).

Cyanobacteria & Microalgae In Situ Determination with the bbe AlgaeTorch | 04.29.21

Presented by Tobias Boehme Ph.D. & Detlev Lohse, Ph.D.

  • Learn about the benefits and use of the bbe AlgaeTorch for in situ determination of cyanobacteria and microalgae.
  • Topics covered include: About phytoplankton, algae determination & chlorophyll, advanced fluorometry, algaeTorch features & handling, application field measurement & guidelines

About Dr. Boehme & Dr. Lohse

Dr. Boehme’s background is in physics and oceanography. Today he is involved in several research projects in the field of holographic detection of algae and is focused on developing new and innovative algae devices as well as instrument installation and integration for bbe Moldaenke and is a frequent speaker on the topic of HAB.

Dr. Lohse studied biochemistry at the University of Hannover, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Düsseldorf in 1986. He spent more than ten years in fundamental research specializing in plant biochemistry. For the last 22 years, Detlev’s focus has been on knowledge transfer regarding photosynthetic processes and algal pigments.

Four methods of measuring mesophyll conductance with the CIRAS-3 Portable Photosynthesis System | 04.15.21

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

Learn the four independent methods of measuring mesophyll conductance in leaves of C3 plants using the CIRAS-3 portable photosynthesis system as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and how to program the CIRAS-3 for each method, as well as the measurement and data analysis steps needed for each method.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist. His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

Step-by-step automated tracking of diurnal patterns of leaf gas exchange in the field with the CIRAS-3 Portable Photosynthesis System | 02.24.21

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

Learn how quick and easy it is to record diurnal patterns of leaf gas exchange with the CIRAS-3 as well as Dr. Bunce’s best practices for long-duration, unattended operation in the field.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist. His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

The SBA-5 CO2 Gas Analyzer: A Key Component for Researchers Monitoring & Understanding Degassing Processes at Active Volcano Sites | 11.18.20

Presented by John Stix, Ph.D., Maarten J. de Moor, Ph.D. & Jessica Salas

Learn how the SBA-5 CO2 Gas Analyzer is relied upon as a key component for researchers monitoring and understand degassing processes at active volcano sites by some of the most renowned researchers in the area of volcanology.

About Dr. Stix, Dr. de Moor & Jessica Salas

John Stix is a professor of volcanology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He holds the William Dawson Chair in Geology. He has worked on active volcanic systems since 1989, with a focus on volcanic gases, supervolcanoes, and subsurface magma plumbing systems. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of Volcanology, the premier journal in its field. He and his group are continually searching for novel and exciting ways to study active volcanoes and their impacts.

Dr. Maarten de Moor is a volcanologist focusing on using gas geochemistry to understand volcanic processes and evaluate volcanic activity. He is based at the Observatory of Volcanology and Seismology in Costa Rica at the National University and uses in-situ instrumentation at active volcanoes to show that significant short-term variations in key gas ratios (CO2/SO2, H2S/SO2) accompany, and in some cases precede, eruptive activity. Real-time gas data thus provide insights into eruptive processes and show great potential for forecasting dangerous volcanic eruptions.

Jessica is a chemist and Master’s candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at McGill University. Prior to joining McGill, she was a research assistant at the Costa Rican volcano observatory where she became interested in geochemical research, monitoring volcanic activity, and science communication. Currently, she works with Dr. Stix and Dr. de Moor to design a new version of a Multi-GAS, an instrument capable of real-time field measurements of volcanic gas concentration.

Photosynthetic Responses to Brief High and Low Temperature Events in Crops Grown at Ambient and Elevated CO2 | 10.30.20

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

Presented at the 1st Brazilian Symposium on Photosynthesis on October 30, 2020.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist. His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

The Benefits of Algae class Differentiation to Acquire Information About the In-situ Algae Class In Open Waters | 10.22.20

Presented by Tobias Boehme Ph.D. & Detlev Lohse, Ph.D.

  • General overview of the FluoroProbe instrument for depth profiling in the field
  • Optional accessories including WorkStation 25 for laboratory sampling
  • Method of the bbe instruments (Fingerprint simulation will be presented)
  • Using live algae for calibration of Fingerprints (importance compared to other manufacturers that use dye solutions for calibration)
  • Data presentation of the FluoroProbe. Depth dependence of Cyanobacteria.

About Dr. Boehme & Dr. Lohse

Dr. Boehme’s background is in physics and oceanography. Today he is involved in several research projects in the field of holographic detection of algae and is focused on developing new and innovative algae devices as well as instrument installation and integration for bbe Moldaenke and is a frequent speaker on the topic of HAB.

Dr. Lohse studied biochemistry at the University of Hannover, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Düsseldorf in 1986. He spent more than ten years in fundamental research specializing in plant biochemistry. For the last 22 years, Detlev’s focus has been on knowledge transfer regarding photosynthetic processes and algal pigments.

Best Way to Perform Light Response Curves?
The right protocol depends on the information you’re looking for! | 10.15.20

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

What important factors should you consider when purchasing a leaf gas exchange system? Find out more about the popular CIRAS-3, the fastest, most accurate portable photosynthesis system on the market for high-level research.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist. His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

Small System Volume: Size Does Matter. | 09.16.20

Presented by Sinisha Ivans, Ph.D.

What important factors should you consider when purchasing a leaf gas exchange system? Find out more about the popular CIRAS-3, the fastest, most accurate portable photosynthesis system on the market for high-level research.

About Sinisha Ivans

Sinisha Ivans is a Technical Sales Engineer at PP Systems, Inc. He provides high-level technical and application-related expertise and support to existing customers. He also focuses on establishing and building relationships with customers worldwide – helping them achieve their research needs. His research interests have included observing closed path systems across the Mountain West to determine water characteristics and CO2 fluxes of sagebrush, as predominant native vegetation of the region. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.

Red, Green & Blue: Misconceptions About the Photosynthetic Efficacy of Different Light Colors | 07.23.20

Presented by Marc van Iersel, Ph.D.

Because of the relatively low leaf absorptance of green light, it is commonly believed to be inefficient in driving photosynthesis. Dr. Marc van Iersel, from the University of Georgia, will discuss how A/Ci and light-response curves were used to develop a more nuanced understanding of the interactive effects of light intensity and color with regard to photosynthesis.

About Dr. van Iersel

Dr. Marc van Iersel has been with the University of Georgia’s Department of Horticulture since 1995, where he now holds the Dooley professorship.

His research focuses on cost-effective supplemental lighting technologies in greenhouses and vertical farms.

He is the director of project LAMP, a $5M, US-based research project that brings together plant scientists, engineers, and economists to develop profitable supplemental lighting strategies.

In 2017, he co-founded Candidus, Inc. to help bring novel lighting strategies to the greenhouse industry.

Dr. van Iersel has published 130+ scientific papers and has given invited lectures about his research around the world, including in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Kenya, Canada, Chile, and Brazil.

What, Why & How: A/Ci? | 06.24.20

Presented by James Bunce, Ph.D.

Learn the purpose of performing non-steady-state A (Assimilation) vs. CI (Intercellular CO2) curves and how to perform and process them quickly.

About Dr. Bunce

Dr. James Bunce built his first photosynthesis system as a graduate student 48 years ago and has been performing leaf gas exchange measurements, including many A/Ci curves ever since.

He has 40 years of research experience with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland as an environmental plant physiologist.  His focus has been on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and plant water relations and their response and acclimation, in the context of plant adaptation to the environment, most recently adaptation to the global change factors of rising carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

He has recently published two research papers utilizing the technology and technique presented in this webinar: Three Methods of Estimating Mesophyll Conductance Agree Regarding its CO2 Sensitivity in the Rubisco-Limited Ci Range and Variation in Responses of Photosynthesis and Apparent Rubisco Kinetics to Temperature in Three Soybean Cultivars.