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High light decreases xylem contribution to fruit growth in tomato

Jochen Hanssens (UGent) , Tom De Swaef (UGent) and Kathy Steppe (UGent)
(2015) PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT. 38(3). p.487-498
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Abstract
Recently, contradicting evidence has been reported on the contribution of xylem and phloem influx into tomato fruits, urging the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in fruit growth. So far, little research has been performed on quantifying the effect of light intensity on the different contributors to the fruit water balance. However, as light intensity affects both transpiration and photosynthesis, it might be expected to induce important changes in the fruit water balance. In this study, tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.) were grown in light and shade conditions and the fruit water balance was studied by measuring fruit growth of girdled and intact fruits with linear variable displacement transducers combined with a model-based approach. Results indicated that the relative xylem contribution significantly increased when shading lowered light intensity. This resulted from both a higher xylem influx and a lower phloem influx during the daytime. Plants from the shade treatment were able to maintain a stronger gradient in total water potential between stem and fruits during daytime, thereby promoting xylem influx. It appeared that the xylem pathway was still functional at 35 days after anthesis and that relative xylem contribution was strongly affected by environmental conditions. Recent contradicting evidence on the contribution of xylem and phloem to fruit growth in tomato urges the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in fruit growth, and how these are affected by environmental factors. In this manuscript we demonstrate that decreasing light intensity by shading significantly increased the relative xylem contribution to tomato fruit growth. Plants growing under low light intensity were able to maintain a stronger water potential gradient between stem and fruits, thereby promoting xylem influx. Being able to manipulate contributions of xylem and phloem by changing light intensity is important to further improve fruit quality.
Keywords
dendrometers, Solanum lycopersicum L, girdling, heat field deformation (HFD) sensor, irradiance, mechanistic modelling, phloem, water flux, water potential, water status, SAP FLOW DYNAMICS, BLOSSOM-END ROT, WATER RELATIONS, HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY, BIOPHYSICAL MODEL, SUGAR UPTAKE, TRANSPORT, PHLOEM, SALINITY, LEAVES

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Chicago
Hanssens, Jochen, Tom De Swaef, and Kathy Steppe. 2015. “High Light Decreases Xylem Contribution to Fruit Growth in Tomato.” Plant Cell and Environment 38 (3): 487–498.
APA
Hanssens, Jochen, De Swaef, T., & Steppe, K. (2015). High light decreases xylem contribution to fruit growth in tomato. PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT, 38(3), 487–498.
Vancouver
1.
Hanssens J, De Swaef T, Steppe K. High light decreases xylem contribution to fruit growth in tomato. PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT. 2015;38(3):487–98.
MLA
Hanssens, Jochen, Tom De Swaef, and Kathy Steppe. “High Light Decreases Xylem Contribution to Fruit Growth in Tomato.” PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT 38.3 (2015): 487–498. Print.
@article{5687325,
  abstract     = {Recently, contradicting evidence has been reported on the contribution of xylem and phloem influx into tomato fruits, urging the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in fruit growth. So far, little research has been performed on quantifying the effect of light intensity on the different contributors to the fruit water balance. However, as light intensity affects both transpiration and photosynthesis, it might be expected to induce important changes in the fruit water balance. In this study, tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.) were grown in light and shade conditions and the fruit water balance was studied by measuring fruit growth of girdled and intact fruits with linear variable displacement transducers combined with a model-based approach. Results indicated that the relative xylem contribution significantly increased when shading lowered light intensity. This resulted from both a higher xylem influx and a lower phloem influx during the daytime. Plants from the shade treatment were able to maintain a stronger gradient in total water potential between stem and fruits during daytime, thereby promoting xylem influx. It appeared that the xylem pathway was still functional at 35 days after anthesis and that relative xylem contribution was strongly affected by environmental conditions. 
Recent contradicting evidence on the contribution of xylem and phloem to fruit growth in tomato urges the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in fruit growth, and how these are affected by environmental factors. In this manuscript we demonstrate that decreasing light intensity by shading significantly increased the relative xylem contribution to tomato fruit growth. Plants growing under low light intensity were able to maintain a stronger water potential gradient between stem and fruits, thereby promoting xylem influx. Being able to manipulate contributions of xylem and phloem by changing light intensity is important to further improve fruit quality.},
  author       = {Hanssens, Jochen and De Swaef, Tom and Steppe, Kathy},
  issn         = {0140-7791},
  journal      = {PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {487--498},
  title        = {High light decreases xylem contribution to fruit growth in tomato},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.12411},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2015},
}

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