Using a Mathematical Model of Phloem Transport to Optimize Strategies for Crop Improvement
It is valuable to set an ideotype plant structure (i.e., ideal numbers and arrangement of sucrose sources, sinks, and pathways that maximize crop yield) as a goal for breeding with modern and near-future technologies. However, it is not easy to theoretically specify an ideotype because multiple factors need to be considered simultaneously. Here a method to obtain plant ideotypes using a simple mathematical model is described. The model identifies plant structures with maximal yield through a series of simulations of the dynamic changes in sucrose concentration at different positions of the plant. Originally developed for rice, this revised method can be applied to a wide range of crop plants.
Key wordsBreeding Crop ideotype Hagen–Poiseuille equation Murray’s law Pressure-flow hypothesis Carbon allocation Sucrose transport
I thank F. G. Feugier, X. Song, M. Ashikari, H. Nakamura, K. Ishiyama, T. Yamaya, M. Inari-Ikeda, H. Kitano, and A. Satake for their help in developing the present model.
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