Boosting photosynthesis in corn for better yields

19-10-2018 | |
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Corn productivity can be further increased according to new research.

ScienceDaily reports that an international research team has found they can increase the corn yield by targeting the enzyme in charge of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Boosting Rubisco inside the maize cells

The researchers developed a transgenic maize designed to produce more Rubisco, the main enzyme involved in photosynthesis, and the result is a plant with improved photosynthesis and hence, growth. This could potentially increase tolerance to extreme growth conditions.

Making the C4 path more efficient

Every plant on the planet uses photosynthesis to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but not all plants do it in the same way. Plants like wheat and rice use the ancient, less efficient C3 photosynthetic path, while other plants such as maize and sorghum use the more efficient C4 path. Central to this process is Rubisco, the main enzyme of photosynthesis, which is in charge of converting CO2 into organic compounds. In C4 plants, Rubisco works much faster and they are more tolerant to heat and drought through better water use efficiency. By boosting Rubisco inside the maize cells, you see an increase in crop productivity.

Next step: Testing in the field

The next step is to do field trials to see how the transgenic maize behaves in real field conditions.

Source: ScienceDaily

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Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor