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Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Johannes Kromdijk
  • Katarzyna Glowacka
  • Lauriebeth Leonelli
  • Stephane T. Gabilly
  • Masakazu Iwai
  • Krishna K. Niyogi
  • Stephen P. Long
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/11/2016
Issue number6314
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)857-861
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Crop leaves in full sunlight dissipate damaging excess absorbed light energy as heat. When sunlit leaves are shaded by clouds or other leaves, this protective dissipation continues for many minutes and reduces photosynthesis. Calculations have shown that this could cost field crops up to 20% of their potential yield. Here, we describe the bioengineering of an accelerated response to natural shading events in Nicotiana (tobacco), resulting in increased leaf carbon dioxide uptake and plant dry matter productivity by about 15% in fluctuating light. Because the photoprotective mechanism that has been altered is common to all flowering plants and crops, the findings provide proof of concept for a route to obtaining a sustainable increase in productivity for food crops and a much-needed yield jump.

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© 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights Reserved.