Modelling individual kernel filling-processes with source–sink interactions

Failure to account for the variation of kernel growth may cause serious deviations in the simulation of crop yield. Ma et al. built a GREENLAB-Maize-Kernel model to incorporate source-sink limited allocation approach to simulate individual kernel filling process.

Simulated final kernel weight and measured final kernel weight for different genotypes.
Simulated final kernel weight and measured final kernel weight for different genotypes. The final kernel weights ranged between 320 and 430 mg per kernel.

Three basic traits characterizing individual kernel: (i) final kernel size, (ii) kernel growth rate, and (iii) kernel filling duration are compared on simulated and measured data. Source-sink dynamic and remobilization for kernels growth are quantified to show that remobilization processes accompanied source-sink dynamics during the kernel filling process. The model can be used to explore options for optimizing plant kernel yield by matching maize management to the environment, taking into account responses at the level of individual kernels.

This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Functional-Structural Plant Growth Modelling. It will be free access until June 2018, then available only to subscribers until April 2019 when it will be free access again.

Further reading

Ma, Y., Chen, Y., Zhu, J., Meng, L., Guo, Y., Li, B., & Hoogenboom, G. (2018). Coupling individual kernel-filling processes with source–sink interactions into GREENLAB-Maize. Annals of Botany, 121(5), 961–973. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx189