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author:("heuveline, E.")
1.  Enhancement of crop photosynthesis by diffuse light: quantifying the contributing factors 
Annals of Botany  2014;114(1):145-156.
Background and Aims
Plants use diffuse light more efficiently than direct light. However, experimental comparisons between diffuse and direct light have been obscured by co-occurring differences in environmental conditions (e.g. light intensity). This study aims to analyse the factors that contribute to an increase in crop photosynthesis in diffuse light and to quantify their relative contribution under different levels of diffuseness at similar light intensities. The hypothesis is that the enhancement of crop photosynthesis in diffuse light results not only from the direct effects of more uniform vertical and horizontal light distribution in the crop canopy, but also from crop physiological and morphological acclimation.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) crops were grown in three greenhouse compartments that were covered by glass with different degrees of light diffuseness (0, 45 and 71 % of the direct light being converted into diffuse light) while maintaining similar light transmission. Measurements of horizontal and vertical photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) distribution in the crop, leaf photosynthesis light response curves and leaf area index (LAI) were used to quantify each factor's contribution to an increase in crop photosynthesis in diffuse light. In addition, leaf temperature, photoinhibition, and leaf biochemical and anatomical properties were studied.
Key Results
The highest degree of light diffuseness (71 %) increased the calculated crop photosynthesis by 7·2 %. This effect was mainly attributed to a more uniform horizontal (33 % of the total effect) and vertical PPFD distribution (21 %) in the crop. In addition, plants acclimated to the high level of diffuseness by gaining a higher photosynthetic capacity of leaves in the middle of the crop and a higher LAI, which contributed 23 and 13 %, respectively, to the total increase in crop photosynthesis in diffuse light. Moreover, diffuse light resulted in lower leaf temperatures and less photoinhibition at the top of the canopy when global irradiance was high.
Diffuse light enhanced crop photosynthesis. A more uniform horizontal PPFD distribution played the most important role in this enhancement, and a more uniform vertical PPFD distribution and higher leaf photosynthetic capacity contributed more to the enhancement of crop photosynthesis than did higher values of LAI.
PMCID: PMC4071095  PMID: 24782436
Diffuse light; direct light; haze treatment; PPFD distribution; crop photosynthesis; acclimation; tomato; Solanum lycopersicum
2.  Simulation of fruit-set and trophic competition and optimization of yield advantages in six Capsicum cultivars using functional–structural plant modelling 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(5):793-803.
Background and aims
Many indeterminate plants can have wide fluctuations in the pattern of fruit-set and harvest. Fruit-set in these types of plants depends largely on the balance between source (assimilate supply) and sink strength (assimilate demand) within the plant. This study aims to evaluate the ability of functional–structural plant models to simulate different fruit-set patterns among Capsicum cultivars through source–sink relationships.
A greenhouse experiment of six Capsicum cultivars characterized with different fruit weight and fruit-set was conducted. Fruit-set patterns and potential fruit sink strength were determined through measurement. Source and sink strength of other organs were determined via the GREENLAB model, with a description of plant organ weight and dimensions according to plant topological structure established from the measured data as inputs. Parameter optimization was determined using a generalized least squares method for the entire growth cycle.
Key Results and Conclusions
Fruit sink strength differed among cultivars. Vegetative sink strength was generally lower for large-fruited cultivars than for small-fruited ones. The larger the size of the fruit, the larger variation there was in fruit-set and fruit yield. Large-fruited cultivars need a higher source–sink ratio for fruit-set, which means higher demand for assimilates. Temporal heterogeneity of fruit-set affected both number and yield of fruit. The simulation study showed that reducing heterogeneity of fruit-set was obtained by different approaches: for example, increasing source strength; decreasing vegetative sink strength, source–sink ratio for fruit-set and flower appearance rate; and harvesting individual fruits earlier before full ripeness. Simulation results showed that, when we increased source strength or decreased vegetative sink strength, fruit-set and fruit weight increased. However, no significant differences were found between large-fruited and small-fruited groups of cultivars regarding the effects of source and vegetative sink strength on fruit-set and fruit weight. When the source–sink ratio at fruit-set decreased, the number of fruit retained on the plant increased competition for assimilates with vegetative organs. Therefore, total plant and vegetative dry weights decreased, especially for large-fruited cultivars. Optimization study showed that temporal heterogeneity of fruit-set and ripening was predicted to be reduced when fruits were harvested earlier. Furthermore, there was a 20 % increase in the number of extra fruit set.
PMCID: PMC3077981  PMID: 21097946
Source–sink relationship; fruit-set pattern; functional–structural models; Capsicum annuum
3.  Genetic differences in fruit-set patterns are determined by differences in fruit sink strength and a source : sink threshold for fruit set 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(5):957-964.
Background and Aims
Fruit set in indeterminate plant species largely depends on the balance between source and sink strength. Plants of these species show fluctuations in fruit set during the growing season. It was tested whether differences in fruit sink strength among the cultivars explained the differences in fruit-set patterns.
Capsicum was chosen as a model plant. Six cultivars with differences in fruit set, fruit size and plant growth were evaluated in a greenhouse experiment. Fruit-set patterns, generative and vegetative sink strength, source strength and the source : sink ratio at fruit set were determined. Sink strength was quantified as potential growth rate. Fruit set was related to total fruit sink strength and the source : sink ratio. The effect of differences observed in above-mentioned parameters on fruit-set patterns was examined using a simple simulation model.
Key Results
Sink strengths of individual fruits differed greatly among cultivars. Week-to-week fruit set in large-fruited cultivars fluctuated due to large fluctuations in total fruit sink strength, but in small-fruited cultivars, total fruit sink strength and fruit set were relatively constant. Large variations in week-to-week fruit set were correlated with a low fruit-set percentage. The source : sink threshold for fruit set was higher in large-fruited cultivars. Simulations showed that within the range of parameter values found in the experiment, fruit sink strength and source : sink threshold for fruit set had the largest impact on fruit set: an increase in these parameters decreased the average percentage fruit set and increased variation in weekly fruit set. Both were needed to explain the fruit-set patterns observed. The differences observed in the other parameters (e.g. source strength) had a lower effect on fruit set.
Both individual fruit sink strength and the source : sink threshold for fruit set were needed to explain the differences observed between fruit-set patterns of the six cultivars.
PMCID: PMC2749527  PMID: 19643909
Fruit-set patterns; fruit sink strength; source : sink ratio; threshold for fruit set; Capsicum annuum; cultivars
4.  Validation of a PCR-Based Method for Detection of Food-Borne Thermotolerant Campylobacters in a Multicenter Collaborative Trial 
A PCR-based method for rapid detection of food-borne thermotolerant campylobacters was evaluated through a collaborative trial with 12 laboratories testing spiked carcass rinse samples. The method showed an interlaboratory diagnostic sensitivity of 96.7% and a diagnostic specificity of 100% for chicken samples, while these values were 94.2 and 83.3%, respectively, for pig samples.
PMCID: PMC444809  PMID: 15240324
5.  Simulation of Leaf Area Development Based on Dry Matter Partitioning and Specific Leaf Area for Cut Chrysanthemum 
Annals of Botany  2003;91(3):319-327.
This work aims to predict time courses of leaf area index (LAI) based on dry matter partitioning into the leaves and on specific leaf area of newly formed leaf biomass (SLAn) for year‐round cut chrysanthemum crops. In five glasshouse experiments, each consisting of several plant densities and planted throughout the year, periodic destructive measurements were conducted to develop empirical models for partitioning and for SLAn. Dry matter partitioning into leaves, calculated as incremental leaf dry mass divided by incremental shoot dry mass between two destructive harvests, could be described accurately (R2 = 0·93) by a Gompertz function of relative time, Rt. Rt is 0 at planting date, 1 at the start of short‐days, and 2 at final harvest. SLAn, calculated as the slope of a linear regression between periodic measurements of leaf dry mass (LDM) and LAI, showed a significant linear increase with the inverse of the daily incident photosynthetically active radiation (incident PAR, MJ m–2 d–1), averaged over the whole growing period, the average glasshouse temperature and plant density (R2 = 0·74). The models were validated by two independent experiments and with data from three commercial growers, each with four planting dates. Measured shoot dry mass increase, initial LAI and LDM, plant density, daily temperature and incident PAR were input into the model. Dynamics of LDM and LAI were predicted accurately by the model, although in the last part of the cultivation LAI was often overestimated. The slope of the linear regression of simulated against measured LDM varied between 0·95 and 1·09. For LAI this slope varied between 1·01 and 1·12. The models presented in this study are important for the development of a photosynthesis‐driven crop growth model for cut chrysanthemum crops.
PMCID: PMC4244956  PMID: 12547684
Chrysanthemum; dry mass partitioning; leaf area index; model; plant density; simulation; specific leaf area
6.  Modelling of Temperature‐controlled Internode Elongation Applied to Chrysanthemum 
Annals of Botany  2002;90(3):353-359.
The DIF concept states that equal internode length can be achieved with the same difference between day and night temperature irrespective of the mean 24 h temperature. However, the physiological background of the DIF concept is unclear. An attempt to model internode elongation is presented based on three plausible processes, namely (1) the accumulation of elongation requirements during the day, (2) elongation during the night using elongation requirements and (3) the limitation of internode length due to low turgor pressure unable to counter cell wall elasticity. Each reaction rate constant, one per process, depends on temperature according to Arrhenius’ Law. The resulting process‐based model describes internode elongation in time and was calibrated on a chrysanthemum data set. Chrysanthemum plants were grown in growth chambers with rigorously defined day and night temperatures. In total, 16 temperature treatments were applied, resulting from the combination of four day and four night temperatures (16, 20, 24 and 28 °C). Internode elongation was measured for the tenth internode in ten plants per treatment. The percentage variance accounted for, R2adj, was almost 91 %. Transferability of model parameters was shown to exist by cross validation. Simulation of the internode length in time as function of mean 24 h temperature and DIF showed that the DIF concept is not apparent after a growing period of 10 d, but is visible after 20 d. This model structure for describing internode elongation might also be applicable for other plants that show the DIF concept.
PMCID: PMC4240396  PMID: 12234147
Chrysanthemum; day temperature; DIF; elongation; internode length; model; night temperature
7.  Effect of Day and Night Temperature on Internode and Stem Length in Chrysanthemum: Is Everything Explained by DIF? 
Annals of Botany  2002;90(1):111-118.
In many plant species, including chrysanthemum, a strong positive correlation between internode length and DIF [difference between day (DT) and night (NT) temperature] has been observed. However, Langton and Cockshull (1997, Scientia Horticulturae 69: 229–237) reported no such relationship and showed that absolute DT and NT explained internode length rather than DIF. To investigate these conflicting results and to clarify the validity of the DIF concept, cut chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum ‘Reagan Improved’) were grown in growth chambers at all 16 combinations of four DT and four NT (16, 20, 24 and 28 °C) with a 12 h daylength. Length of internode 10, number of internodes and stem length were measured on days 5, 10, 17, 22 and 27 after starting the temperature treatments. Internode length on day 10 showed a positive linear relationship with DIF (R2 = 0·64). However, when internodes had reached their final length in all treatments (day 27), a much stronger positive linear relation was observed (R2 = 0·81). A model to predict final internode length was developed based on the absolute DT and NT responses: both responses were optimum curves and no significant interaction between DT and NT occurred [final internode length (mm) = –32·23 + 3·56DT + 1·08NT – 0·0687DT2 – 0·0371NT2; R2 = 0·91, where TD is day temperature and TN is night temperature]. It is shown that DIF can predict final internode length only within a temperature range where effects of DT and NT are equal in magnitude and opposite in sign (18–24 °C). Internode appearance rate, as well as stem length formed during the experiment, showed an optimum response to DT.
PMCID: PMC4233858  PMID: 12125764
Chrysanthemum; day temperature; DIF; elongation; internode length; modelling; night temperature; number of internodes; stem length; thermoperiodism
8.  Occurrence of Verocytotoxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 on Dutch Dairy Farms 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(12):3480-3487.
During the period from September 1996 through November 1996, 10 Dutch dairy farms were visited to collect fecal samples from all cattle present. The samples were examined for the presence of verocytotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) of serogroup O157 (O157 VTEC) by immunomagnetic separation following selective enrichment. Cattle on 7 of the 10 dairy farms tested positive for O157 VTEC, with the proportion of cattle infected varying from 0.8 to 22.4%. On the seven farms positive for O157 VTEC, the excretion rate was highest in calves ages 4 to 12 months (21.2%). In a follow-up study, two O157 VTEC-positive farms and two O157 VTEC-negative farms identified in the prevalence study were revisited five times at intervals of approximately 3 months. Cattle on each farm tested positive at least once. The proportion of cattle infected varied from 0 to 61.0%. Excretion rates peaked in summer and were lowest in winter. Again, the highest prevalence was observed in calves ages 4 to 12 months (11.8%). O157 VTEC strains were also isolated from fecal samples from horses, ponies, and sheep and from milk filters and stable flies. O157 VTEC isolates were characterized by VT production and type, the presence of the E. coli attaching-and-effacing gene, phage type, and pulsed-field gel electrophoretic genotype. No overlapping strain types were identified among isolates from different farms except one. The predominance of a single type at each sampling suggests that horizontal transmission is an important factor in dissemination of O157 VTEC within a farm. The presence of more than one strain type, both simultaneously and over time, suggests that there was more than one source of O157 VTEC on the farms. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that the O157 VTEC status of a farm cannot be ascertained from a single visit testing a small number of cattle.
PMCID: PMC105225  PMID: 9817858
9.  Isolation and Characterization of Verocytotoxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 Strains from Dutch Cattle and Sheep 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(4):878-882.
In the periods from July to November 1995 and 1996, fecal samples from Dutch cattle and sheep were collected at the main slaughterhouses of The Netherlands, located at different geographic sites. The samples were examined for the presence of verocytotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) of serogroup O157. E. coli O157 strains could be isolated from 57 (10.6%) of 540 adult cattle, 2 (0.5%) of 397 veal calves, 2 (3.8%) of 52 ewes, and 2 (4.1%) of 49 lambs. Immunomagnetic separation with O157-specific-antibody-coated beads appeared to be significantly more sensitive than conventional plating for detection of the organism in feces. With the exception of two isolates from adult cattle which appeared to be negative for VT genes, all animal isolates were positive for both VT (VT1 and/or VT2) and E. coli attaching-and-effacing gene sequences, and therefore, they were regarded as potential human pathogens. Although genomic typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed a wide variety of distinct restriction patterns, comparison of the 63 animal isolates with 33 fecal O157 VTEC strains previously isolated from humans with the diarrhea-associated form of the hemolytic-uremic syndrome by their phage types and VT genotypes showed a marked similarity between animal and human isolates: 30 (90.9%) of the 33 human isolates appeared to be of E. coli O157 strain types also isolated from cattle and sheep. It was concluded that Dutch cattle and sheep are an important reservoir of E. coli O157 strains that are potentially pathogenic for humans.
PMCID: PMC104654  PMID: 9542902
10.  Characterization of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 isolates from patients with haemolytic uraemic syndrome in Western Europe. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1995;115(1):1-14.
Fifty verocytotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) strains of serogroup O157 were characterized by phage typing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for VT genes and the E. coli attaching and effacing (eae) gene, and random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) fingerprinting. The collection represented isolates obtained from patients with diarrhoea-associated haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (D+ HUS) and their family contacts, isolated in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany between 1989 and 1993. Based on isolates from separate families (n = 27) seven different phage types were identified, types 2 (44%) and 4 (33%) were predominant. Eighty-five percent of the strains contained only VT2 gene sequences and 15% both VT1 and VT2. All strains of the dominant phage types 2 and 4 carried the VT2 gene. Strains that belonged to the minor phage types 8, 14, 32 carried both VT1 and VT2 genes, with the exception of two isolates identified as phage types 49 and 54 which contained only VT2 genes. All O157 VTEC strains possessed the chromosomally-located eae gene, which indicates its usefulness as virulence marker. RAPD-PCR fingerprinting identified four distinct banding patterns, with one profile found among 79% of the strains. Based on the combined results of all typing methods used in this study, the collection of 50 O157 VTEC strains could be divided into nine distinct groups. Strains isolated from different persons within one family could not be distinguished by any of these methods. The data suggest that O157 VTEC strains are members of one clone that has become widely distributed.
PMCID: PMC2271552  PMID: 7641823

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