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Model-Assisted Estimation of the Genetic Variability in Physiological Parameters Related to Tomato Fruit Growth under Contrasted Water Conditions

Abstract : Drought stress is a major abiotic stress threatening plant and crop productivity. In case of fleshy fruits, understanding mechanisms governing water and carbon accumulations and identifying genes, QTLs and phenotypes, that will enable trade-offs between fruit growth and quality under Water Deficit (WD) condition is a crucial challenge for breeders and growers. In the present work, 117 recombinant inbred lines of a population of Solanum lycopersicum were phenotyped under control and WD conditions. Plant water status, fruit growth and composition were measured and data were used to calibrate a process-based model describing water and carbon fluxes in a growing fruit as a function of plant and environment. Eight genotype-dependent model parameters were estimated using a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm in order to minimize the prediction errors of fruit dry and fresh mass throughout fruit development. WD increased the fruit dry matter content (up to 85%) and decreased its fresh weight (up to 60%), big fruit size genotypes being the most sensitive. The mean normalized root mean squared errors of the predictions ranged between 16–18% in the population. Variability in model genotypic parameters allowed us to explore diverse genetic strategies in response to WD. An interesting group of genotypes could be discriminated in which (i) the low loss of fresh mass under WD was associated with high active uptake of sugars and low value of the maximum cell wall extensibility, and (ii) the high dry matter content in control treatment (C) was associated with a slow decrease of mass flow. Using 501 SNP markers genotyped across the genome, a QTL analysis of model parameters allowed to detect three main QTLs related to xylem and phloem conductivities, on chromosomes 2, 4, and 8. The model was then applied to design ideotypes with high dry matter content in C condition and low fresh mass loss in WD condition. The ideotypes outperformed the RILs especially for large and medium fruit-size genotypes, by combining high pedicel conductance and high active uptake of sugars. Interestingly, five small fruit-size RILs were close to the selected ideotypes, and likely bear interesting traits and alleles for adaptation to WD. Drought stress is a major abiotic stress threatening plant and crop productivity. In case of fleshy fruits, understanding mechanisms governing water and carbon accumulations and identifying genes, QTLs and phenotypes, that will enable trade-offs between fruit growth and quality under Water Deficit (WD) condition is a crucial challenge for breeders and growers. In the present work, 117 recombinant inbred lines of a population of Solanum lycopersicum were phenotyped under control and WD conditions. Plant water status, fruit growth and composition were measured and data were used to calibrate a process-based model describing water and carbon fluxes in a growing fruit as a function of plant and environment. Eight genotype-dependent model parameters were estimated using a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm in order to minimize the prediction errors of fruit dry and fresh mass throughout fruit development. WD increased the fruit dry matter content (up to 85%) and decreased its fresh weight (up to 60%), big fruit size genotypes being the most sensitive. The mean normalized root mean squared errors of the predictions ranged between 16–18% in the population. Variability in model genotypic parameters allowed us to explore diverse genetic strategies in response to WD. An interesting group of genotypes could be discriminated in which (i) the low loss of fresh mass under WD was associated with high active uptake of sugars and low value of the maximum cell wall extensibility, and (ii) the high dry matter content in control treatment (C) was associated with a slow decrease of mass flow. Using 501 SNP markers genotyped across the genome, a QTL analysis of model parameters allowed to detect three main QTLs related to xylem and phloem conductivities, on chromosomes 2, 4, and 8. The model was then applied to design ideotypes with high dry matter content in C condition and low fresh mass loss in WD condition. The ideotypes outperformed the RILs especially for large and medium fruit-size genotypes, by combining high pedicel conductance and high active uptake of sugars. Interestingly, five small fruit-size RILs were close to the selected ideotypes, and likely bear interesting traits and alleles for adaptation to WD.
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Dario Constantinescu, Mohamed Memmah, Gilles Vercambre, Michel Génard, Valentina Baldazzi, et al.. Model-Assisted Estimation of the Genetic Variability in Physiological Parameters Related to Tomato Fruit Growth under Contrasted Water Conditions. Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers, 2016, 7, ⟨10.3389/fpls.2016.01841⟩. ⟨hal-01475599⟩

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