Using a Mathematical Model of Phloem Transport to Optimize Strategies for Crop Improvement
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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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