A unique approach to demonstrating that apical bud temperature specifically determines leaf initiation rate in the dicot Cucumis sativus

Andreas Savvides*, Anja Dieleman, Wim van Ieperen, Leo F.M. Marcelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Main conclusion: Leaf initiation rate is largely determined by the apical bud temperature even when apical bud temperature largely deviates from the temperature of other plant organs.We have long known that the rate of leaf initiation (LIR) is highly sensitive to temperature, but previous studies in dicots have not rigorously demonstrated that apical bud temperature controls LIR independent of other plant organs temperature. Many models assume that apical bud and leaf temperature are the same. In some environments, the temperature of the apical bud, where leaf initiation occurs, may differ by several degrees Celsius from the temperature of other plant organs. In a 28-days study, we maintained temperature differences between the apical bud and the rest of the individual Cucumis sativus plants from −7 to +8 °C by enclosing the apical buds in transparent, temperature-controlled, flow-through, spheres. Our results demonstrate that LIR was completely determined by apical bud temperature independent of other plant organs temperature. These results emphasize the need to measure or model apical bud temperatures in dicots to improve the prediction of crop development rates in simulation models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number243
Pages (from-to)1071-1079
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)
  • Leaf formation
  • Modelling
  • Shoot apical meristem

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