An international team of researchers, led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, has made an important discovery. Researchers have been able to increase photosynthesis in plants by 10% by tweaking one protein.
After increasing the amount of the Rieske FeS protein being expressed in plants the team observed an increase in the speed at which electrons flow during photosynthesis. By increasing electron flow they were able to increase the rate of photosynthesis, which in turn increases the rate at which plants can grow.
While this process has only been tested in one type of plant at this stage, the team believe this discovery will have a large impact on food production, particularly in plants like corn and sorghum. The hope is that increased photosynthesis will increase crop yields, which would be particularly beneficial for food security in our changing climate.
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