Plastocyanin requires copper and cytochrome requires iron to function. ScienceDaily. Due to the environmental fluctuations plants are often exposed to the different environmental stresses that cause decreased photosynthetic rate and problems in the plant growth and development. April 24, 2020. Yet these advances have not resulted from improving the photosynthetic process per se but rather of altering the way carbon is partitioned within the plant. An international effort called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) aims to transform crops' ability to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into higher yields. RIPE is led by the University of Illinois in partnership with The Australian National University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Lancaster University, Louisiana State University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, University of Essex, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. “The molecular processes we’re modifying are fundamental to plants that carry out photosynthesis, so we hope to see a similar increase in yield in other crops.”. The C 4 photosynthetic pathway is a CO 2 -concentrating mechanism that generally enables C 4 plants to achieve greater efficiency in their use of light, nitrogen, and water than C 3 plants. "Photosynthetic hacks can boost crop yield, conserve water." Content on this website is for information only. This review attempts to develop a mechanistic understanding of the effects of N on crop biomass accumulation by elucidating quantitative relationships among leaf N content, CO 2 assimilation rate, and crop radiation use efficiency. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. Patricia E. López-Calcagno, Kenny L. Brown, Andrew J. Simkin, Stuart J. Fisk, Silvere Vialet-Chabrand, Tracy Lawson, and Christine A. Raines. In higher plants, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), the fraction of sunlight with wavelengths from 400 to 700 nm is harvested by the photosynthetic pigments of photosystems PSI and PSII. The optimization of such developmental traits thus has great potential to increase biomass and crop yield. NPQ turns off, but not quickly enough. Crop production is strongly dependent on the photosynthetic rates. When there is too much sunlight, the photosynthetic machinery in chloroplasts can be damaged, so plants need photoprotection. A team of scientists from the University of Essex has boosted crop productivity by 27 percent by resolving two bottlenecks in photosynthesis--the process whereby plants fix … However, the crops have some ability to adapt and resist against limited irrigation. In the shade, the pressure in the engine decreases. These findings represent a breakthrough in bioengineering plants to achieve efficient photosynthesis and increase crop productivity under normal and heat-stress conditions. It’s like having a leak in the system with the valve left open. The team found crop yield changes ranged from a reduction of one per cent to a 12 per cent increase, depending on the combination of photosynthetic targets, the crop … “Tobacco was used as the model crop plant in this study because it is easy to work with, but we’re working to make the same modifications in rice and other food crops,” said co-senior author Krishna Niyogi, a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. By adding "cellular forklifts" to shuttle electrons into the photosystems and "cellular machinery" for the Calvin Cycle, the team also improved the crop's water-use efficiency, or the ratio of biomass produced to water lost by the plant. Niyogi, who is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Division of Molecular Biophysics and Integrative Bioimaging, teamed up with Stephen Long, a plant biology and crop sciences professor at the University of Illinois, for the study. Photosynthesis and crop yield Photosynthesis is the primary determinant of crop yield, and the efficiency by which a crop captures light and converts it into biomass over the growing season is a key determinant of final yield, be that biomass or grain (et al., 2006Long ). Yields of the world’s major staple crops have not been increasing fast enough to meet this projected need. Introduction. They discovered that producing more of a protein that controls the rate in which electrons flow during photosynthesis, accelerates the whole process. The photosynthetic efficiency is the fraction of light energy converted into chemical energy during photosynthesis in green plants and algae. Plants must adapt to intermittent shading from leaves that are higher in the canopy, or from passing clouds. To optimize production, scientists from the University of Essex have resolved two major photosynthetic bottlenecks to boost plant productivity by 27 percent in real-world field conditions, according to a new study published in Nature Plants. Photo contest deadline tonight! Submit photos for our photo contest at https://t.co/NsU070FXst for a chance to win college swag! “My attitude is that it is very important to have these new technologies on the shelf now because it can take 20 years before such inventions can reach farmer’s fields,” said Long. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200810113213.htm (accessed January 10, 2021). Hanson and her lab are producing vectors that will install a novel cyanobacterial-based, carbon-concentrating mechanism into a chloroplast, and they are providing the necessary molecular machinery to facilitate its operation. Illinois postdoctoral researchers Johannes Kromdijk and Katarzyna Glowacka took the trio of genes studied at Berkeley and put them into tobacco plants for further testing in greenhouse and field experiments. Inside two photosystems, sunlight is captured and turned into chemical energy that can be used for other processes in photosynthesis. Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) aims to improve photosynthesis to equip farmers worldwide with higher-yielding crops to ensure everyone has enough food to lead a healthy, productive life. Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) is a translational research project that is genetically engineering plants to photosynthesize more efficiently to increase crop yields. The EC-funded project GAIN4CROPS is developing novel disruptive technologies to overcome one of the main constraints on photosynthetic efficiency: photorespiration, a process that reduces CO2 assimilation efficiency, and thus biomass yield and agricultural productivity. The flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. Scientists engineered plants with a photosynthesis “shortcut” to increase crop production by up to 40%, according to a research article published in Science journal. January 5, 2021 By: Claire Benjamin . The work to boost crop productivity comes as concerns about food shortages rise with the world’s population. Here’s to a 2021 where CHC eventually won’t have to exist because…, a new method to rapidly test gene expression. Photosynthetic capacity and efficiency are bottlenecks to raising productivity and there is strong evidence that increasing photosynthesis will increase crop yields provided that other constraints do … (2020, August 10). More importantly, this study showed up to a 27 percent increase in crop growth in field trials, which is the true test of any crop improvement -- demonstrating that these photosynthetic hacks can boost crop production in real-world growing conditions. Its efficiency is considered a key determinant of crop productivity. “We discovered 20 years ago that red algae can produce more efficient versions of Rubisco than The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that food production will need to nearly double by 2050 to meet increasing demand. Materials provided by Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its efficiency is considered a key determinant of crop productivity. Plant biologists have bumped up crop productivity by increasing the expression of genes that result in more efficient use of light in photosynthesis, a finding that could be used to help address the world’s future food needs. In rice plants, the flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Applicability of the TLA concept was previously shown in green microalgae and cyanobacteria, but it has not yet been demonstrated in crop plants. and performance in a crop context. Photosynthesis is the basis of primary productivity on the planet. Multiple targets have been identified that could be manipulated to increase crop photosynthesis. In this work, the TLA concept was applied in high-density tobacco canopies. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Niyogi compared NPQ to a pressure relief valve in a steam engine. "Photosynthetic hacks can boost crop yield, conserve water." NFs can improve the nutrient use efficiency about threefolds and improve the crop productivity by promoting seed germination, seedling growth, nitrogen metabolism, photosynthetic activity, protein synthesis, antioxidant defense, etc. Keywords: Photosynthesis efficiency, abiotic stress, biotic stress, climate change, Multiple Stress Conditions, Crop productivity Important Note : All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they … ScienceDaily. These two improvements, when combined, have been shown to increase crop productivity by 52 percent in the greenhouse. Modern Farmer: Scientists may found a way to increase crop yield by a bonkers 20% Smithsonian Magazine: New technique could supercharge crop production Popular Science: Scientists tweak plant genes to enhance photosynthesis and increase crop yields Peoria Public Radio (WCBU 89.9): Genetically Modifying Photosynthesis Can … They used a new method to rapidly test gene expression in tobacco leaves. ANRV410-PP61-11 ARI 8 April 2010 0:47 Improving Photosynthetic Efficiency for Greater Yield Xin-Guang Zhu,1,2,3 Stephen P. Long,3,4 and Donald R. Ort3,4,5 1CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, SIBS, Shanghai, China 200031 2Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, SIBS, Shanghai, China 200032 3Institute of Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, … At the same time, the team has improved a photosynthetic bottleneck in the Calvin-Benson Cycle -- wherein carbon dioxide is fixed into sugars -- by bulking up the amount of a key enzyme called SBPase, borrowing the additional cellular machinery from another plant species and cyanobacteria. The urgent need to achieve large improvements in crop photosynthetic efficiency has consequently catalyzed rapid recent progress in the use of synthetic biology as an approach to overcome the limitations of C 3 photosynthesis. "This study provides the exciting opportunity to potentially combine three confirmed and independent methods of achieving 20 percent increases in crop productivity," said RIPE Director Stephen Long, Ikenberry Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois. Have any problems using the site? One strategy to improve photosynthetic yields is to replace a crop plant’s rubisco with a faster enzyme along with a carbon-concentrating mechanism. Maureen R. Hanson, Molecular Biology and Genetics, is focusing on an enzyme that limits the efficiency of To find out what limits photosynthesis, researchers have modeled each of the 170 steps of this process to identify how plants could manufacture sugars more efficiently. This establishes the viability of a functional nanomaterial to augment photosynthesis as a route to increased crop productivity. Photosynthesis is an important biochemical reaction that forms the basis of all food chains. Stimulating photosynthetic processes increases productivity and water-use efficiency in the field (Nature Plants) August 21, 2020 / in Plant Science Research Weekly / by Camila Ribeiro Yield potential in crops is determined by the efficiency of photosynthetic rates, which is a critical target for improvement. “If we don’t do it now, we won’t have this solution when we need it.”. This international research project is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the U.K. Government's Department for International Development (DFID). ScienceDaily shares links with sites in the. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. The photosynthetic engine can’t work as efficiently.”. Plants are factories that manufacture yield from light and carbon dioxide -- but parts of this complex process, called photosynthesis, are hindered by a lack of raw materials and machinery. Because C 2 plants suffer less net carbon loss from photorespiration, engineering C 2 photosynthesis into C 3 crops could therefore have a large impact on crop production. "The mechanism responsible for this additional improvement is not yet clear, but we are continuing to explore this to help us understand why and how this works.". Photosynthesis is an important biochemical reaction that forms the basis of all food chains. To achieve this, scientists are analyzing thousands of plants to find out what tweaks to the plant's structure or its cellular machinery could increase production. Photosynthetic capacity and efficiency are bottlenecks to raising productivity and there is strong evidence that increasing photosynthesis will increase crop yields provided that other constraints do … Saturday, January 9 2021 By boosting the expression of three genes involved in NPQ, they showed that NPQ turned off more quickly, and the efficiency of photosynthesis in the shade was higher. Some limitations and adverse effects of NFs have also been reported. “When there is too much sunlight, it’s like pressure building up,” said Niyogi. Plant biologists have bumped up crop productivity by increasing the expression of genes that result in more efficient use of light in photosynthesis, a finding that could be used to help address the world’s future food needs. 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This, in turn, can be achieved by altering the ratio of the photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll a and b. The RIPE project is an international effort led by the University of Illinois to develop more productive crops by improving photosynthesis -- the natural, sunlight-powered process that all plants use to fix carbon dioxide into sugars that fuel growth, development, and ultimately yield. Here we examine inefficiencies in photosynthetic energy transduction in crops from light interception to RIPE is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the U.K. Government's Department for International Development (DFID). Therefore, improving photosynthetic efficiency has been a focus of intensive research. Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is paving the way to increase crop production efficiency with electric lamps. Inside chloroplasts, plants have a system called NPQ, or nonphotochemical quenching, for this purpose. European Scientist: Scientists increase crop production by 47%. A transport protein called plastocyanin moves electrons into the photosystem to fuel this process. (Credit: Lauriebeth Leonelli and Matthew Brooks/UC Berkeley). A team of scientists from the University of Essex has boosted crop productivity by 27 percent by resolving two bottlenecks in photosynthesis–the process whereby plants fix carbon dioxide into the sugars that fuel crop growth. Photosynthetic efficiency and biomass productivity in rice largely decreased at cool temperatures (Nagai and Makino, 2009), and rice yield in northern regions of Japan is limited by low biomass accumulation in cool climates between spring and early summer. Demand for food and fuel is steadily increasing, while gains in the yield of many major food crops through traditional breeding and natural variation have leveled. Whereas improved photosynthetic efficiency has played only a minor role in the remarkable increases in productivity achieved in the last half century, further increases in yield potential will rely in large part on improved photosynthesis. More importantly, this study showed up to a 27 percent increase in crop growth in field trials, which is the true test of any crop improvement—demonstrating that these photosynthetic hacks can boost crop production in real-world growing conditions. RIPE aims to increase agricultural production worldwide, particularly to help reduce hunger and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia by sustainably improving the yield of key food crops including soybeans, rice, … Plants contain the green pigment chlorophyll and they require light energy from the sun to photosynthesize and to grow. "Like a factory line, plants are only as fast as their slowest machines," said Patricia Lopez-Calcagno, a postdoctoral researcher at Essex, who led this work for the RIPE project. Scientists have found how to relieve a bottleneck in the process by which plants transform sunlight into food, which may lead to an increase in crop production. Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Depending on the availability of these nutrients, algae can choose between these two transport proteins. The team at Dr Sayre’s lab has also produced several studies that suggest that capturing CO 2 by algae Crop breeding has sustained steady improvements in yield to keep pace with population growth increases. Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Light attenuation is an important aspect that influences the overall photosynthetic rate and the accumulation of biomass of plants, particularly cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.).Thus light quality and light duration play an important role in the productivity of cotton. Stimulating photosynthetic processes increases productivity and water-use efficiency in the field. Half of crop photosynthesis occurs in the shade, so any improvement in speeding up recovery from photoprotection could have a big benefit, the researchers said. 1. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. But plastocyanin has a high affinity for its acceptor protein in the photosystem so it hangs around, failing to shuttle electrons back and forth efficiently. In this study, the team increased crop growth by 27 percent by resolving two constraints: one in the first part of photosynthesis where plants transform light energy into chemical energy and one in the second part where carbon dioxide is fixed into sugars. Congratulations to Mary Blackburn on winning the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Hal… https://t.co/4XBCXsQvEX, Since its founding in 1915, Forestry Camp has been canceled only twice, during both World Wars. Photosynthetic hacks can boost crop yield, conserve water. The team addressed this first bottleneck by helping plastocyanin share the load with the addition of cytochrome c6 -- a more efficient transport protein that has a similar function in algae. ... which would result in higher crop productivity. "In our field trials, we discovered that these plants are using less water to make more biomass," said principal investigator Christine Raines, a professor in the School of Life Sciences at Essex where she also serves as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. The photosynthetic efficiency in most crops is less than 2% and even a small increase in this has potential to improve biomass and yield. In rice plants, the flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. It has been recognized that ... overall crop productivity and grain yield. Thus, solar-to-biomass energy conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity in high-density cultures can be increased. Overall, canopy architecture significantly affected canopy photosynthetic efficiency and water-use efficiency, suggesting that optimizing canopy structures can contribute to yield enhancement in crops. Raising the water-use efficiency of both irrigated and rain-fed crop production is an urgent imperative (Hamdy et al., 2003).Of the world's allocatable water resource, c. 80% is currently consumed by irrigated agriculture.This level of consumption by agriculture is not sustainable into the future. Red and yellow regions represent low NPQ activity, while blue and purple areas show high levels induced by exposure to light. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2020. Therefore, in this study, the relationship between water, crop production, photosynthesis, crop transpiration, crop growth, crop yields and water use efficiency have been discussed under limited irrigation conditions. The flag leaf is the last to emerge, indicating the transition from crop growth to grain production. Next, the team plans to translate these discoveries from tobacco -- a model crop used in this study as a test-bed for genetic improvements because it is easy to engineer, grow, and test -- to staple food crops such as cassava, cowpea, maize, soybean and rice that are needed to feed our growing population this century. Nature Plants. Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. RIPE's first discovery, published in Science, helped plants adapt to changing light conditions to increase yields by as much as 20 percent. Tobacco leaves showing transient overexpression of genes involved in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ), a system that protects plants from light damage. The project's second breakthrough, also published in Science, created a shortcut in how plants deal with a glitch in photosynthesis to boost productivity by 20 to 40 percent. However, photosynthetic efficiency remains standing as a determinant of yield potential with the improvement capacity to double crop productivity (1–3, 5, 6). This is the third breakthrough for the research project Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE); however, this photosynthetic hack has also been shown to conserve water. Photosynthesis is directly related to plant growth and crop production and any fluctuation in the photosynthetic activity imposes great threat to crop productivity. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois targeted three genes involved in a process plants use to protect themselves from damage when they get more light than they can safely use. Photosynthesis is the basis of plant growth, and improving photosynthesis can contribute toward greater food security in the coming decades as world population increases. Keywords: Photosynthesis efficiency, abiotic stress, biotic stress, climate change, Multiple Stress Conditions, Crop productivity Important Note : All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they … . This means that it may be possible to mix and match the regulatory components of light harvesting from different clades of photosynthetic organisms to fine-tune the efficiency of photosynthesis.” The researchers said the CVDE enzyme could be used to optimize photoprotection and thereby improve photosynthesis and crop productivity. Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) aims to improve photosynthesis to equip farmers worldwide with higher-yielding crops to ensure everyone has enough food to lead a … The maximum yield attainable from a crop has been termed yield By increasing the expression of those genes, the scientists saw increases of 14-20 percent in the productivity of modified tobacco plants in field experiments. A number of plant features and traits, such as overall plant architecture, leaf structure and morphological features, vascular architecture and flowering time are important determinants of photosynthetic efficiency and hence the overall performance of crop plants. The RIPE project and its sponsors are committed to ensuring Global Access and making the project's technologies available to the farmers who need them the most. Saturday, January 9 2021 "We have identified some steps that are slower, and what we're doing is enabling these plants to build more machines to speed up these slower steps in photosynthesis.". The researchers described their findings in a paper published today in the journal Science. "Our modeling suggests that stacking this breakthrough with two previous discoveries from the RIPE project could result in additive yield gains totaling as much as 50 to 60 percent in food crops.". This research program, known as Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency or RIPE, is being led by the University of Illinois. Overall, canopy architecture significantly affected canopy photosynthetic efficiency and water-use efficiency, suggesting that optimizing canopy structures can contribute to yield enhancement in crops. Any new technology licensed from this work will be made freely available to farmers in poor countries in Africa and South Asia. “NPQ turns on and gets rid of the excess energy safely. Crop production is strongly dependent on the photosynthetic rates. Here, we explore an array of prospective redesigns of plant systems at various scales, all aimed at increasing crop yields through improved photosynthetic efficiency and performance. Niyogi and his postdoctoral research associates Lauriebeth Leonelli, Stéphane Gabilly, and Masakazu Iwai figured out a way to speed up recovery from photoprotection and demonstrated a proof of this concept in the laboratory. ’ t have this solution when we need it. ” the researchers described findings... Sun to photosynthesize and to grow is the basis of all food chains primary productivity on the photosynthetic.... To N is empirical in chloroplasts can be damaged, so plants need photoprotection Melinda. Need photoprotection rapidly test gene expression in tobacco leaves spectrum conversion film 2 transport proteins optimization of such traits... Have not been increasing fast enough to meet this projected need do not necessarily those! All food chains assert that increasing the efficiency and productivity of photosynthesis in crop plants more of protein! 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And Melinda Gates Foundation science news with ScienceDaily 's free email newsletters, updated and... Nutrients, algae can choose between these two improvements, when combined, been... Achieved by altering the ratio of the TLA concept was applied in high-density tobacco canopies food. And they require light energy from the sun to photosynthesize and to grow used new. Referral programs, where indicated comes as concerns about food shortages rise with the ’!, we won ’ t do it now, we won ’ t work efficiently.! The C 4 pathway into C 3 rice ( Oryza sativa ) NPQ...