Review: Source-sink interactions in plants ($)

With populations increasing globally, improving crop yield potential is one of the major challenges to the plant biologist, complicated by the changing climate. A better understanding of the source (material producer or exporter, e.g., leaves) – sink (material importer or consumer, e.g., roots, growing fruits and seeds) relationship is very important to develop crop plants with higher yield potential. In this review, Chang and Zhu summarize the concepts and terminology of source-sink interactions and discuss current progress in modern molecular systems biology to manipulate the source-sink interactions in crop plants. The authors also propose a new, integrative systems approach which may help to link molecular mechanisms directly to physiological source-sink interactions. They concluded that “a well modularized and highly mechanistic model holds great potential to help predict yield for different crops under different conditions“. (Summary by Mather Khan)  J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erx002