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A carbohydrate supply and demand model of vegetative growth: response to temperature and light
- GENT, MARTIN P. N., SEGINER, IDO
- Plant, cell and environment 2012 v.35 no.7 pp. 1274-1286
- Helianthus annuus, carbohydrate content, carbohydrates, crop models, growth factors, photosynthesis, supply balance, temperature, tomatoes, winter wheat
- Photosynthesis is the limiting factor in crop growth models, but metabolism may also limit growth. We hypothesize that, over a wide range of temperature, growth is the minimum of the supply of carbohydrate from photosynthesis, and the demand of carbohydrate to synthesize new tissue. Biosynthetic demand limits growth at cool temperatures and increases exponentially with temperature. Photosynthesis limits growth at warm temperatures and decreases with temperature. Observations of tomato seedlings were used to calibrate a model based on this hypothesis. Model predictions were tested with published data for growth and carbohydrate content of sunflower and wheat. The model qualitatively fitted the response of growth of tomato and sunflower to both cool and warm temperatures. The transition between demand and supply limitation occurred at warmer temperatures under higher light and faster photosynthesis. Modifications were required to predict the observed non‐structural carbohydrate (NSC). Some NSC was observed at warm temperatures, where demand should exceed supply. It was defined as a required reserve. Less NSC was found at cool temperatures than predicted from the difference between supply and demand. This was explained for tomato and sunflower, by feedback inhibition of NSC on photosynthesis. This inhibition was much less in winter wheat.