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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

Quantify and model

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. Our goal is to (i) identify some adaptive traits as well as processes that are the most sensitive to abiotic stresses, (ii) provide process-based response laws, (iii) feed our plant, root and fruit models. This approach, which combines experimentation, methodological developments and modeling, allows us to approach growth and quality in a global way and to find out trade-offs among different traits. The factors studied are mainly temperature, water, nitrogen, light, mechanical actions and soil porosity.

Some results of our work:

The effects of water deficit and carbon fixation on organ growth and fruit quality have been studied in peach using a combined experimental / modeling approach: experiments have been conducted in a semi-arid climate (Iran) and the effects of water stress on vegetative growth, photosynthesis and fruit quality have been assessed. Vegetative growth is faster and more severely reduced than surface photosynthesis, and the elongation of the main axes and their branching declines (Rahmati et al., 2015a). Ultimately, fruit growth and composition are strongly affected. Concentrations in primary metabolites are higher, mainly due to concentration effect (increased fruit DM content), and for some secondary metabolites, particularly polyphenols, the concentration is increased due to metabolic changes (Rahmati et al 2015b). The different sensitivity of processes to water stress has been formalized and integrated into the Qualitree model developed at PSH (Rahmati 2015).

Root architecture plays an important role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. In order to identify new traits of root architecture and to study their stability in response to different factors, a fine characterization of root traits was performed in different species in response to soil hydric and mechanical properties (Theses E. Kichah and H Bui). For this purpose, quantitative methods and related software have been developed to characterize architecture from images (Delory et al., 2016). The selected root traits show generally stronger variation between species than within species. A system of hydroponic rhizotrons revealed that some traits are stable or highly correlated (eg, diameters, interbranching distances), while others show much greater differences (eg, growth rates, emergence rates of adventitious roots) Bui 2015).

Hydraulic failure or carbon starvation are commonly considered to be responsible for tree dieback, while the lack of nitrogen is more rarely evoked. An experimental work on young peach trees has shown that budburst disturbance, carbon resource depletion and tree dieback in spring result from nitrogen deprivation in the previous autumn. Dieback occurs despite a sufficient nitrogen supply, while stored nitrogen is blocked in root and wood axes (Jordan et al., 2013, 2014).