A Three-phase Model for the Analysis of Sigmoid Patterns of Growth

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  • 1 1Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616
  • 2 2Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing MI 48824.

A growth function was developed for describing the progression of shoot elongation over time. While existing functions, such as the logistic function or Richards function, can be fitted to most sigmoid data, we observed situations where distinct lag, linear, and saturation phases were observed but not well represented by these traditional functions. A function was developed that explicitly models three phases of growth as a curvilinear (exponential) phase, followed by a linear phase, and terminating in a saturation phase. This function was found to be as flexible as the Richards function and can be used for virtually any sigmoid data. The model behavior was an improvement over the Richards function in cases where distinct transitions between the three growth phases are evident. The model also lends itself well to simulation of growth using the differential equation approximation for the function.

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