Prof. dr. Leo Marcelis and PhD candidate Maarten Verhoog of the Horticulture and Product Physiology group are researching the conditions that produce the optimally shaped pant, using a 3D computer model they developed themselves. Innovative research that was made possible by the bequest of the late Prof. Wellensiek.
Maarten Verhoog studies tomatoes, investigating the variations in plant growth that arise from adjusting the plant spacing, the greenhouse climate and cultivation factors.
His model is the tomato, for which he is developing new simulation models that show which changes result in a plant with the optimum shape and more homogeneity between plants.
Having homogeneous plants is very important in greenhouses because there the plants are grown in controlled conditions. Variation between plants causes problems diseases occur when there are extemes. If a plant has a lot of leaves in one spot, that spot may remain more humid, giving moulds a chance to develop that can in turn affect other plants.
More uniform plants will make the micro-climate more uniform too, which allows more energy-efficient climate control.
Click here to read more in the corresponding article in issue 2016-03 of Wageningen World.