New Biotech Photosynthesis Hacks Would Boost Crop Yields by 50 Percent or More
A team of biotechnologists at the University of Essex has been tweaking the process of photosynthesis—the system by which plants use sunlight to transform water and carbon dioxide into food. In a study for the journal Nature Plants, they describe how they’ve improved the energy efficiency of crop plants by inserting cellular machinery from algae. They’ve also boosted the production of an enzyme that makes it easier for carbon dioxide to be transformed into sugars. When combined, these two alterations have increased crop productivity by 52 percent in the greenhouse and by 27 percent in field trials.
This research is part of Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE), an international
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