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Crop Biotech Update

Photosynthesis Discovery in Wheat to Yield Faster Growing Crops

August 24, 2016

A research team led by Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation researcher Professor Robert Henry has discovered that photosynthesis occurs in wheat seeds as well as in plant leaves.

The research characterized a previously unknown photosynthetic C4 pathway in the seeds of wheat – which is not a C4 plant. Professor Henry said the team discovered that wheat has all the C4 genes in different parts, on different chromosomes.

"Wheat's photosynthetic pathway evolved 100 million years ago when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were up to 10 times higher than they are today. One theory is that as carbon dioxide began to decline, the plant's seeds evolved a C4 pathway to capture more sunlight to convert to energy," he said.

For more details, read the news release at The University of Queensland website.