Title: A continuum model for metabolic gas exchange in pear fruit
Authors: Ho, Quang Tri ×
Verboven, Pieter
Verlinden, Bert
Lammertyn, Jeroen
Vandewalle, Stefan
Nicolai, Bart #
Issue Date: Mar-2008
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Series Title: PLoS Computational Biology vol:4 issue:3 pages:-
Article number: e1000023
Abstract: Exchange of O-2 and CO2 of plants with their environment is essential for metabolic processes such as photosynthesis and respiration. In some fruits such as pears, which are typically stored under a controlled atmosphere with reduced O-2 and increased CO2 levels to extend their commercial storage life, anoxia may occur, eventually leading to physiological disorders. In this manuscript we have developed a mathematical model to predict the internal gas concentrations, including permeation, diffusion, and respiration and fermentation kinetics. Pear fruit has been selected as a case study. The model has been used to perform in silico experiments to evaluate the effect of, for example, fruit size or ambient gas concentration on internal O-2 and CO2 levels. The model incorporates the actual shape of the fruit and was solved using fluid dynamics software. Environmental conditions such as temperature and gas composition have a large effect on the internal distribution of oxygen and carbon dioxide in fruit. Also, the fruit size has a considerable effect on local metabolic gas concentrations; hence, depending on the size, local anaerobic conditions may result, which eventually may lead to physiological disorders. The model developed in this manuscript is to our knowledge the most comprehensive model to date to simulate gas exchange in plant tissue. It can be used to evaluate the effect of environmental stresses on fruit via in silico experiments and may lead to commercial applications involving long-term storage of fruit under controlled atmospheres.
ISSN: 1553-734X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors (MeBioS)
Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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