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Development and validation of dynamic model of nitrate uptake and accumulation in lettuce to inform policy and practice - HH1414SFV

Description

The objectives of this research are: i) to develop a mechanistic and dynamic model of the uptake of nitrate and assimilation of C and N in lettuce, and ii) to use it in order to quantitatively characterise key factors controlling the spatial and temporal changes in nitrate concentration in lettuce. The theoretical approach will be combined with experimental work to parameterise and validate the model. The model would be of great value in informing MAFF policy makers of the potential implications to the UK horticultural industry of changes in nitrate limits in glasshouse lettuce, and could form a theoretical framework from which to provide evidence to the EU. The model will also be of value in developing strategies for optimising growing practices for meeting EU legislation on nitrate concentrations in lettuce with minimum detriment to yield and quality of produce. In addition, the information gained from this project will underpin other research on improved N use efficiency in a wide range of protected and field vegetable crops, providing additional benefits to the environment. Establishing the environmental conditions that lead to nitrate accumulation in lettuce leaves in a quantitative and deterministic manner will be a major function of this model. An additional objective of this project will be to carry out preliminary work to devise methods for subsequent use in identifying the genetic basis of nitrate accumulation in order to inform future breeding strategies.
Objective

The overarching objective of this project is to use a combined modelling and experimental approach to quantify the key factors controlling the spatial and temporal dynamics of nitrates in lettuce in order to develop a robust theoretical framework for providing advice to both industry and policy makers. Preliminary work will also be carried out to devise methods for identifying the genetic basis of nitrate accumulation in order to inform future breeding strategies. This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:

01 To develop a dynamic mechanistic model of the uptake of nitrate and the assimilation of C and N in glasshouse lettuce.
02 To carry out experiments to parameterise and independently validate the model.
03 To use the model to determine the key environmental and physiological factors controlling the spatial and temporal variation in nitrate concentration in lettuce.
04 To use the model to provide policy advice to MAFF and the Food Standards Agency on the consequences of possible future reductions in the maximum EU limits for nitrate concentrations in lettuce
05 To design and recommend a robust assay for characterising the genetic basis of nitrate accumulation in a mapping population of lettuce.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Dynamic model of nitrate uptake and accumulation in lettuce for informing policy and practice   (1164k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2004

Cost: £276,128
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Keywords
Farming              
Horticulture              
Lettuce              
Nitrate              
Nutrition              
Quality              
Technology Transfer              
Vegetables              
Fields of Study
Horticulture
Horticulture