RELATIVE GROWTH RATE: THE TWO-PHASE CURVE

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  • 1 Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis CA 95616

The growth and development patterns of fruit have been studied for many years and it has become traditional to think of peaches as having a double sigmoid pattern with three main stages fruit growth. This concept is primarily based on analyses of fruit absolute growth rates An alternative approach is to express growth on a relative growth rate (RGR) basis which is simply the weight increase perg of fruit weight per day. This analysis applied to dry-weight peach fruit growth results in a two-phase curve that is known mathematically as a Gompertz function. During the first growth phase the RGR decreases logarithmically and during the second phase the RGR remains relatively stable. Expressing fruit growth on a RGR basis is advantageous for fruit growth carbon budget modelling because RGR is directly related to respiration rates and for physiological studies because most analyses for physiologically active substances are expressed on a weight basis. There is obviously not only one “right” way to express fruit growth but it may be instructive to use the RGR approach particularly when studying factors that may be associated with “sink” activity.

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