Turgor-driven plant growth applied in a soybean functional–structural plant model

Jonas R Coussement, Tom De Swaef, Peter Lootens, Kathy Steppe

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikel


Turgor pressure within a plant cell represents the key to the mechanistical descriptiion of plant growth, combining the effects of both water and carbon availability. The high level of spatio-temporal variation and diurnal dynamics in turgor pressure within a single plant make it a challenge to model these on the fine spatial scale required for functional–structural plant models (FSPMs). A conceptual model for turgor-driven growth in FSPMs has been established previously, but its practical use has not yet been explored.A turgor-driven growth model was incorporated in a newly established FSPM for soybean. The FSPM simulates dynamics in photosynthesis, transpiration and turgor pressure in direct relation to plant growth. Comparisons of simulations with field data were used to evaluate the potential and shortcomings of the modelling approach.Model simulations revealed the need to include an initial seed carbon contribution, a more realistic sink function, an estimation of respiration, and the distinction between osmotic and structural sugars, in order to achieve a realistic model of plant growth. However, differences between simulations and observations remained in individual organ growth patterns and under different environmental conditions. This exposed the need to further investigate the assumptions of developmental and environmental (in)sensitivity of the parameters, which represent physiological and biophysical organ properties in the model, in future research.The model in its current form is primarily a diagnostic tool, to better understand and model the behaviour of water relations on the scale of individual plant organs throughout the plant life cycle. Potential future applications include its use as a phenotyping tool to capture differences in plant performance between genotypes and growing environments in terms of specific plant characteristics. Additionally, focused experiments can be used to further improve the model mechanisms to lead to better predictive FSPMs, including scenarios of water deficit.
TijdschriftAnnals of Botany
Pagina's (van-tot)729-744
Aantal pagina's16
StatusGepubliceerd - 1-apr-2020

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