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author:("heuveline, E.")
1.  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.
Methods
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.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcq223
PMCID: PMC3077981  PMID: 21097946
Source–sink relationship; fruit-set pattern; functional–structural models; Capsicum annuum
2.  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.
Methods
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcp181
PMCID: PMC2749527  PMID: 19643909
Fruit-set patterns; fruit sink strength; source : sink ratio; threshold for fruit set; Capsicum annuum; cultivars
3.  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.
doi:10.1128/AEM.70.7.4379-4383.2004
PMCID: PMC444809  PMID: 15240324
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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.
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PMCID: PMC2271552  PMID: 7641823

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