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J Plant Physiol. 2015 Apr 1;177:11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2015.01.003. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Semi-determinate growth habit adjusts the vegetative-to-reproductive balance and increases productivity and water-use efficiency in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).

Author information

1
Laboratory of Hormonal Control of Plant Development, Department of Biological Sciences, Escola Superior de Agricultura 'Luiz de Queiroz' (ESALQ), University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Pádua Dias, 11, CP 09, 13418-900 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
2
Department of Plant Biology, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), R. Monteiro Lobato, 255, 13083-862, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
3
Laboratory of Hormonal Control of Plant Development, Department of Biological Sciences, Escola Superior de Agricultura 'Luiz de Queiroz' (ESALQ), University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Pádua Dias, 11, CP 09, 13418-900 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: lazaro.peres@usp.br.

Abstract

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) shows three growth habits: determinate, indeterminate and semi-determinate. These are controlled mainly by allelic variation in the self-pruning (SP) gene family, which also includes the "florigen" gene single flower TRUSS (SFT). Determinate cultivars have synchronized flower and fruit production, which allows mechanical harvesting in the tomato processing industry, whereas indeterminate ones have more vegetative growth with continuous flower and fruit formation, being thus preferred for fresh market tomato production. The semi-determinate growth habit is poorly understood, although there are indications that it combines advantages of determinate and indeterminate growth. Here, we used near-isogenic lines (NILs) in the cultivar Micro-Tom (MT) with different growth habit to characterize semi-determinate growth and to determine its impact on developmental and productivity traits. We show that semi-determinate genotypes are equivalent to determinate ones with extended vegetative growth, which in turn impacts shoot height, number of leaves and either stem diameter or internode length. Semi-determinate plants also tend to increase the highly relevant agronomic parameter Brix × ripe yield (BRY). Water-use efficiency (WUE), evaluated either directly as dry mass produced per amount of water transpired or indirectly through C isotope discrimination, was higher in semi-determinate genotypes. We also provide evidence that the increases in BRY in semi-determinate genotypes are a consequence of an improved balance between vegetative and reproductive growth, a mechanism analogous to the conversion of the overly vegetative tall cereal varieties into well-balanced semi-dwarf ones used in the Green Revolution.

KEYWORDS:

Growth habit; Micro-Tom; SELF-PRUNING; Single flower truss; Water-use efficiency

PMID:
25659332
DOI:
10.1016/j.jplph.2015.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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