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Model-assisted analysis of spatial and temporal variations in fruit temperature and transpiration highlighting the role of fruit development

Nordey T., Lechaudel M., Saudreau M., Joas J., Génard M.. 2014. PloS One, 9 (3) : 12 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092532

Fruit physiology is strongly affected by both fruit temperature and water losses through transpiration. Fruit temperature and its transpiration vary with environmental factors and fruit characteristics. In line with previous studies, measurements of physical and thermal fruit properties were found to significantly vary between fruit tissues and maturity stages. To study the impact of these variations on fruit temperature and transpiration, a modelling approach was used. A physical model was developed to predict the spatial and temporal variations of fruit temperature and transpiration according to the spatial and temporal variations of environmental factors and thermal and physical fruit properties. Model predictions compared well to temperature measurements on mango fruits, making it possible to accurately simulate the daily temperature variations of the sunny and shaded sides of fruits. Model simulations indicated that fruit development induced an increase in both the temperature gradient within the fruit and fruit water losses, mainly due to fruit expansion. However, the evolution of fruit characteristics has only a very slight impact on the average temperature and the transpiration per surface unit. The importance of temperature and transpiration gradients highlighted in this study made it necessary to take spatial and temporal variations of environmental factors and fruit characteristics into account to model fruit physiology.

Mots-clés : fruits; mangifera indica; mangue; fruit; développement biologique; modèle de simulation; Étude de cas; température; transpiration; propriété physicochimique; propriété thermique; réunion; france

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