Journal Article

Model-assisted analysis of tomato fruit growth in relation to carbon and water fluxes

Huai-Feng Liu, Michel Génard, Soraya Guichard and Nadia Bertin

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 13, pages 3567-3580
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erm202

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This work proposed a model of tomato growth adapted from the Fishman and Génard model developed to predict carbon and water accumulation in peach fruit. The main adaptations relied on the literature on tomato and mainly concerned: (i) the decrease in cell wall extensibility coefficient during fruit development; (ii) the increase in the membrane reflection coefficient to solute from 0 to 1, which accounted for the switch from symplasmic to apoplasmic phloem unloading, and (iii) the negative influence of the initial fruit weight on the maximum rate of active carbon uptake based on the assumption of higher competition for carbon among cells in large fruits containing more cells. A sensitivity analysis was performed and the model was calibrated and evaluated with satisfaction on 17 experimental datasets obtained under contrasting environmental (temperature, air vapour pressure deficit) and plant (plant fruit load and fruit position) conditions. Then the model was used to analyse the variations in the main fluxes involved in tomato fruit growth and accumulation of carbon in response to virtual carbon and water stresses. The conclusions are that this model, integrating simple biophysical laws, was able to simulate the complex fruit behaviour in response to external or internal factors and thus it may be a powerful tool for managing fruit growth and quality.

Keywords: Carbon flux; cell expansion; fruit growth; humidity; Lycopersicon esculentum; model; Solanum lycopersicum; temperature; tomato; water flux

Journal Article.  7330 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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