Crop Biotech Update

Genetically Engineering Photosynthesis to Secure Food Production

April 1, 2015

Photosynthesis is an important physiological process in plants due to its food production ability. A study by University of Illinois and CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai, suggested that photosynthesis can play a key role in increasing the yield potential of a plant. Hence, improving a plant's photosynthetic efficiency can be a potential strategy in meeting the global food demand.

Different approaches were made by the researchers to improve photosynthetic efficiency. These approaches were based on the computer generated models of C3 and C4's plant photosynthesis stage and the use of genetic engineering. One approach developed by the researcher is inserting a gene from a photosynthetic microbe to the crop to boost photosynthesis rate. Another approach is making the color of the upper leaves lighter to catch more sunlight.

Read full details of the research can be accessed in the journal Cell.