Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop Model that Predicts Photosynthetic Manipulations to Increase Yields

April 10, 2019

A research team from Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis (CoETP) has developed a dynamic model that predicts which photosynthetic manipulations to plants will boost the yields of wheat and sorghum. Crop yields need to increase to feed the growing global population.

Lead author Dr. Alex Wu said the prediction tool will help find new ways to improve yields of crops around the world. He added that the modelling tool has the capacity to link across biological scales from biochemistry in the leaf to the whole field crop over a growing season, by integrating photosynthesis and crop models.

According to Centre Deputy Director Professor Susanne von Caemmerer, one of the study's most innovative aspects was using a cross-scale modelling approach to look at the interactions between photosynthesis and the pores of the leaf that allow the exchange of CO2 and water vapor. The team looked at three main photosynthesis manipulation targets – enhancing the activity of the main photosynthetic enzyme, Rubisco; improving the capacity of the leaves to transport electrons; and improving the flow of carbon dioxide (CO2) through the internal layers of the leaf.

For more details, read the news article in CoETP.