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  • Author or Editor: Michel Souty x
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The edible quality of peaches (Prunus persica L. Batsch) to a great extent depends on their sweetness, which is related to sugar composition. Our objective was to develop a model to predict carbon partitioning within fruit flesh and to predict the sucrose, sorbitol, glucose, and fructose contents. The model is dynamic and deterministic and was designed to be driven by the flesh dry-weight growth curve, flesh water content, and temperature data. It uses differential equations where the state of the system is defined by variables that describe how much carbon is present as each form of sugar and as other compounds (acids and structural carbohydrates). The rates of change of these amounts of carbon depend on the current values of corresponding variables and on the transfer functions between them. These functions are defined by rate constants or by functions of degree-days after full bloom. The model was calibrated and tested using data sets from treatments that covered several leaf: fruit ratios. The predictions of the model were in fairly good agreement with experimental data. A sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the most influential transfer function parameters. Carbon flows between sugar forms were analyzed. Sucrose, which was the most abundant sugar, and fructose, which is the sweetest, contributed most to fruit sweetness. Simulations were performed to study the effects of changes in fruit growth-curve parameters on sugar contents and concentrations.

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