Scientists Develop Model that Predicts Photosynthetic Manipulations to Increase Yields
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.