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Tadahisa Higashide, Yuya Mochizuki, Takeshi Saito, Yasushi Kawasaki, Dong-Hyuk Ahn, and Akio Ohyama

To investigate the influence of morphological changes in individual leaves of tomato on light interception and dry matter (DM) production, we altered leaf shape by trimming leaflets of young or mature leaves of the Dutch cultivar Gourmet and the Japanese cultivar Momotaro York. Young leaves 5-cm long were trimmed of their first and second leaflets from the leaf apex. Mature leaves were similarly trimmed at ≥71 days after transplanting (DAT). The individual leaf area (LA) of intact ‘Momotaro York’ leaves was significantly larger than that of ‘Gourmet’. Light–photosynthesis curves of the cultivars were almost identical. Mature-trimmed plants of both cultivars had a smaller individual LA and a smaller leaf area index (LAI), and a greater light-extinction coefficient (LEC). Although there was no significant difference in light-use efficiency (LUE) (i.e., DM production per unit intercepted solar radiation) in ‘Gourmet’ between trimming stages, LUE of ‘Momotaro York’ was decreased significantly by young-leaf trimming. Trimming of young leaves significantly decreased the LEC in ‘Gourmet’ but increased it in ‘Momotaro York’. Although leaf trimming would be impractical for commercial cultivation, these results may provide with a clue for breeding for yield improvement.