Overexpressing plant ferredoxin-like protein enhances photosynthetic efficiency and carbohydrates accumulation in Phalaenopsis
Yuanpei University of Medical Technology researchers in Taiwan developed transgenic orchids (Phalaenopsis) to improve their photosynthetic efficiency and carbohydrate accumulation. The results are published in Transgenic Research.
Phalaenopsis orchids use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) for carbon dioxide assimilation. Compared to other models, CAM plants exhibit better water-use efficiency but slower photosynthetic efficiency. The study showed that overexpressing the plant ferredoxin-like protein (pflp) gene in transgenic Phalaenopsis can improve their photosynthetic efficiency. PFLP is a protein linked with the electron transport chain, wherein the plants convert sunlight into energy. Overexpression of PFLP in CAM plants led to a boost in the electron transport rate and carbon dioxide assimilation rate. The overexpression also led to increased levels of carbohydrates in CAM plants while using less water.
The findings could lead to new plant varieties with better water-use efficiency during photosynthesis.