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Model-based analysis of sugar accumulation in response to source-sink ratio and water supply in grape (Vitis vinifera) berries  [2009]

Dai, Zhan Wu Vivin, Philippe Robert, Thierry Milin, Sylvie et al.

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The dynamics of sugar (hexose) concentration in ripening grape berries (Vitis vinifera L.) were simulated with a refined mechanistic model. Changes in sugar concentration were reproduced by the sum of sugar import (S), sugar metabolism (M) and water budget (W). S and W were derived from model inputs of fresh and dry mass, and M was simulated with a relative metabolism rate describing the depletion of hexose. The relative metabolism rate was associated with the relative growth rate of dry mass with a coefficient (k) that was constant for a given cultivar under various growth conditions (temperature, water supply, and source-sink ratio) but varied with genotype. The k value was ~20% higher for cv. Merlot than for cv. Cabernet Sauvignon, indicating more imported sugars would be depleted by Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon. The model correctly simulated the negative effect of lowered leaf-to-fruit ratio and the positive effect of water shortage on sugar concentration. Sensitivity analysis revealed that the present model was weakly sensitive to k because of sugar accumulation being predominantly controlled by S, with M relatively small (~20%) with respect to the increment of sugar concentration. Model simulation indicated that the decreasing leaf-to-fruit ratio reduced S more than M and W, causing a net decrease in sugar concentration. In contrast, the water shortage decreased S less than M and W, resulting in a net increase in sugar concentration.

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Functional plant biology FPB

ISSN : 1445-4408

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