Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

A dynamic model of tomato fruit growth integrating cell division, cell growth and endoreduplication

Julienne Fanwoua A B C D , Pieter H. B. de Visser A , Ep Heuvelink B , Xinyou Yin C , Paul C. Struik C and Leo F. M. Marcelis A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, PO Box 644, 6700 AP Wageningen, The Netherlands.

B Horticultural Supply Chains, Wageningen University, PO Box 630, 6700 AP Wageningen, The Netherlands.

C Centre for Crop Systems Analysis, Wageningen University, PO Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands.

D Corresponding author. Email: jfanwoua@yahoo.fr

Functional Plant Biology 40(11) 1098-1114 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP13007
Submitted: 9 January 2013  Accepted: 2 June 2013   Published: 12 July 2013

Abstract

In this study, we developed a model of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit growth integrating cell division, cell growth and endoreduplication. The fruit was considered as a population of cells grouped in cell classes differing in their initial cell age and cell mass. The model describes fruit growth from anthesis until maturation and covers the stages of cell division, endoreduplication and cell growth. The transition from one stage to the next was determined by predefined cell ages expressed in thermal time. Cell growth is the consequence of sugar import from a common pool of assimilates according to the source–sink concept. During most parts of fruit growth, potential cell growth rate increases with increasing cell ploidy and follows the Richards growth function. Cell division or endoreduplication occurs when cells exceed a critical threshold cell mass : ploidy ratio. The model was parameterised and calibrated for low fruit load conditions and was validated for high fruit load and various temperature conditions. Model sensitivity analysis showed that variations in final fruit size are associated with variations in parameters involved in the dynamics of cell growth and cell division. The model was able to accurately predict final cell number, cell mass and pericarp mass under various contrasting fruit load and most of the temperature conditions. The framework developed in this model opens the perspective to integrate information on molecular control of fruit cellular processes into the fruit model and to analyse gene-by-environment interaction effects on fruit growth.

Additional keywords: cell aging, cell cycle, cell expansion, gene-based modelling, ploidy level, source-sink relations.


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