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Engineering photosynthesis: progress and perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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  • Douglas John Orr
  • Auderlan Pereira
  • Paula da Fonseca Pereira
  • Italo Pereira-Lima
  • Agustin Zsogon
  • Wagner Araujo
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Article number1891
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/10/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>F1000Prime Reports
Volume6
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Photosynthesis is the basis of primary productivity on the planet. Crop breeding has achieved spectacular progress in keeping up yields with population growth and disproving Malthusian theory. Yet most of those advances were not the result of improving the photosynthetic process per se, but rather of altering the way carbon is partitioned within the plant body. Although traditional plant breeding has significantly boosted crop yield, this approach will eventually cease to be a viable option and a ‘potential yield ceiling’ will be reached in the foreseeable future. Further increases in yield will then probably rely on the targeted manipulation of more fundamental plant processes. Photosynthesis is one such candidate pathway, whose engineering could have a transformative influence on our current approach to crop breeding. Here, we summarize recent advances on various alternative avenues for the manipulation and enhancement of photosynthesis and their possible application for crop improvement.