Stochastic models in floral biology and application to the study of oilseed rape fertility

Abstract : The number of seeds per pod is an important determinant of yield. New clues of yield and seed quality improvement can be provided by studying the relation between the developmental patterns of floral organs and seed production. In this article, a probabilistic model of plant inflorescence fertility is presented. From a biological point of view, seed development can be viewed as the combination of several physiological processes that can be modeled with stochastic laws. Experiments were made on oilseed rape in Grignon (France) in 2008 to calibrate the model. A generalized least square method is implemented to estimate the model parameters. The variations of parameters are analyzed according to the position of flowers. Furthermore, we discuss the causes that lead to the variation of seed production within the inflorescence and relate them to our model. The model reproduces well the distribution of the number of ovules per flower as well as the number of final seeds per pod. We deduced a law to describe the distribution of pollen grains on the stigma that is quite difficult to be observed experimentally. This model is the first step towards a dynamic model taking into account the complexity of the oilseed rape architecture. Which is aimed to quantify the influence of pollination or trophic competition on seed production.
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Conference papers
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Xiujuan Wang, Amélie Mathieu, Paul-Henry Cournède, Jean Michel Allirand, Philippe Verchère de Reffye, et al.. Stochastic models in floral biology and application to the study of oilseed rape fertility. Third International Symposium on Plant Growth Modeling, Simulation, Visualization and Applications (PMA09), Nov 2009, Beijing, China. 454 p., ⟨10.1109/PMA.2009.12⟩. ⟨hal-01192317⟩

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