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Using a 3-D virtual sunflower to simulate light capture at organ, plant and plot levels : Contribution of organ interception, impact of heliotropism and analysis of genotypic differences

Rey H., Dauzat J., Chenu K., Barczi J.F., Dosio G.A.A., Lecoeur J.. 2008. Annals of Botany, 101 (8) : p. 1139-1151.

Background and Aims: Light interception is a critical factor in the production of biomass. The study presented here describes a method used to take account of architectural changes over time in sunflower and to estimate absorbed light at the organ level. Methods: The amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by a plant is estimated on a daily or hourly basis through precise characterization of the light environment and three-dimensional virtual plants built using AMAP software. Several treatments are performed over four experiments and on two genotypes to test the model, quantify the contribution of different organs to light interception and evaluate the impact of heliotropism. Key Results: This approach is used to simulate the amount of light absorbed at organ and plant scales from crop emergence to maturity. Blades and capitula were the major contributors to light interception, whereas that by petioles and stem was negligible. Light regimen simulations showed that heliotropism decreased the cumulated light intercepted at the plant scale by close to 2·2 % over one day. Conclusions: The approach is useful in characterizing the light environment of organs and the whole plant, especially for studies on heterogeneous canopies or for quantifying genotypic or environmental impacts on plant architecture, where conventional approaches are ineffective. This model paves the way to analyses of genotype-environment interactions and could help establish new selection criteria based on architectural improvement, enhancing plant light interception.

Mots-clés : irradiation; génotype; lumière du jour; absorption; bilan radiatif; tropisme; port de la plante; modèle mathématique; modèle de simulation; helianthus annuus; architecture végétale

Thématique : Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Anatomie et morphologie des plantes

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