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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Plantes et Système de cultures Horticoles

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

CrAQ : Growth, Architecture and Quality

In a context of global change, horticultural production systems have to evolve and diversify in order to in order to face production constraints (reduction of inputs), consumers’ demand (taste, nutritional quality and environmental quality) and specific requirements of this sector (production, conservation, processing).

In this context, the Growth, Architecture and Quality team (CRAQ) studies the impact of cultural practices, abiotic factors and genotype on the growth of horticultural plants, in order to optimize the acquisition of resources and the growth of the plant and its organs (roots, stems, leaves, fruits) under suboptimal conditions, while improving the quality of fresh or processed products.

We work on three model species mainly: tomato, peach and apple. We investigate processes at different scales, from cell to plant and our work combines methodological, experimental and modeling approaches.

We develop process-based models and functional-structural models, whose levels of complexity and integration are variable and compatible with our objectives regarding multi-scale integration (from the cell to the plant, from simplified model to meta-model) and analysis of genetic variability (links between QTLs or genes and genetic parameters). These models are used both for research and integration of knowledge and for innovation in terms of production systems (analysis of complex systems, emerging properties, in silico experiments, high-throughput phenotyping, ideotype design).

Our research is structured around three axes:

1. Quantify and model the effects of abiotic stress factors on the processes involved in resource acquisition (water, carbon, minerals), organ growth (roots, leaves, stem), and fruit yield and quality build-up.

2. Analyze the intra- and interspecific diversity in plant adaptation strategies to abiotic factors, in order to identify processes / traits of adaption at the plant and organ scales. The main traits examined relate to root and aerial architecture, growth and metabolism of the fruit and leaf.

3. Understand, prioritize and model the interactions among processes underlying organoleptic and nutritional quality at the fruit level.

CrAQ staff: Cliclk here