Journal Article

Using a 3-D Virtual Sunflower to Simulate Light Capture at Organ, Plant and Plot Levels: Contribution of Organ Interception, Impact of Heliotropism and Analysis of Genotypic Differences

Hervé Rey, Jean Dauzat, Karine Chenu, Jean-François Barczi, Guillermo A. A. Dosio and Jérémie Lecoeur

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 101, issue 8, pages 1139-1151
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm300
Using a 3-D Virtual Sunflower to Simulate Light Capture at Organ, Plant and Plot Levels: Contribution of Organ Interception, Impact of Heliotropism and Analysis of Genotypic Differences

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Light interception is a critical factor in the production of biomass. The study presented here describes a method used to take account of architectural changes over time in sunflower and to estimate absorbed light at the organ level.

Methods

The amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by a plant is estimated on a daily or hourly basis through precise characterization of the light environment and three-dimensional virtual plants built using AMAP software. Several treatments are performed over four experiments and on two genotypes to test the model, quantify the contribution of different organs to light interception and evaluate the impact of heliotropism.

Key Results

This approach is used to simulate the amount of light absorbed at organ and plant scales from crop emergence to maturity. Blades and capitula were the major contributors to light interception, whereas that by petioles and stem was negligible. Light regimen simulations showed that heliotropism decreased the cumulated light intercepted at the plant scale by close to 2·2 % over one day.

Conclusions

The approach is useful in characterizing the light environment of organs and the whole plant, especially for studies on heterogeneous canopies or for quantifying genotypic or environmental impacts on plant architecture, where conventional approaches are ineffective. This model paves the way to analyses of genotype–environment interactions and could help establish new selection criteria based on architectural improvement, enhancing plant light interception.

Keywords: 3-D virtual plant; light interception; plant architecture; Helianthus annuus; sunflower; heliotropism; organ irradiance; radiative balance

Journal Article.  8329 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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