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J Exp Bot. 2000 Sep;51(350):1617-26.

Regulation of leaf and fruit growth in plants growing in drying soil: exploitation of the plants' chemical signalling system and hydraulic architecture to increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture.

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  • 1Biological Sciences Department, Institute of Environmental and Natural Sciences, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK.

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  • J Exp Bot 2000 Nov;51(352):1949.


In this paper the nature of root-to-shoot signals in plants growing in drying soil is considered in the context of their commercial exploitation in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) and other crops. Recent findings are presented on the effects of partial root drying (PRD) in the production of a glasshouse tomato crop. These findings show how an understanding of both root-to-shoot signalling mechanisms and fruit hydraulic architecture may explain observed increases in fruit quality, the differential effects of PRD on vegetative and reproductive production and the incidence of blossom end rot. Evidence is provided to support the hypothesis that the success of PRD may lie, at least in part, in the relative chemical and hydraulic isolation of the tomato fruit.

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