Remaking photosynthesis for increasing crop yield

Feature article in Nature, Vol. 544, Issue 7651, pp. S11-S13, “Solar upgrade”

 

Summary of article: Crop production could be severely impacted by rising carbon dioxide concentration in the air as well as global warming. Thus, a slew of efforts is underway in major researcher centres around the world, focusing on enhancing photosynthesis for increasing crop yield. Many of these approaches utilizes genetic engineering techniques for improving the light capturing efficiency of photosynthesis; for example, by reducing the effect of photoprotection in decreasing light capturing, or improving C4 photosynthesis, whose first reaction produces a four carbon molecule compared to the three carbon molecule produced by C3 photosynthesis. Overall, light capturing efficiency of C4 photosynthesis is 50% more efficient than that of C3 photosynthesis. Hence, synthetic biology may provide an answer to mankind’s need to increase crop production to feed a expanding population expected to pass the 9 billion mark in 2050.

 

Link to original article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7651_supp/full/544S11a.html

 

Category: Interesting scientific articles, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry,

Tags: light capture efficiency, photosynthesis, photoprotection, synthetic biology, genetic engineering,

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