Journal Article

Regulation of leaf and fruit growth in plants growing in drying soil: exploitation of the plants' chemical signalling system and hydraulic architecture to increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture

William J. Davies, Mark A. Bacon, D. Stuart Thompson, Wagdy Sobeih and Luís González Rodríguez

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 51, issue 350, pages 1617-1626
Published in print September 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online September 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jexbot/51.350.1617
Regulation of leaf and fruit growth in plants growing in drying soil: exploitation of the plants' chemical signalling system and hydraulic architecture to increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture

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In this paper the nature of root‐to‐shoot signals in plants growing in drying soil is considered in the context of their commercial exploitation in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) and other crops. Recent findings are presented on the effects of partial root drying (PRD) in the production of a glasshouse tomato crop. These findings show how an understanding of both root‐to‐shoot signalling mechanisms and fruit hydraulic architecture may explain observed increases in fruit quality, the differential effects of PRD on vegetative and reproductive production and the incidence of blossom end rot. Evidence is provided to support the hypothesis that the success of PRD may lie, at least in part, in the relative chemical and hydraulic isolation of the tomato fruit.

Keywords: Root‐to‐shoot signalling; partial root drying; root hydraulic architecture; tomato; growth regulation; water use efficiency.

Journal Article.  7531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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