Scientists Improve Photosynthesis for Fast-Growing Crops (Download PDF)

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Scientists have improved the photosynthesis process in the plants to produce faster-growing crops. Genetic modification was used to increase the amount of sunlight crop plants can channel into food production.

Photosynthesis for Fast-Growing Crops

Photosynthesis for Fast-Growing Crops

Photosynthesis for Fast-Growing Crops

What is Photosynthesis?

  • Photosynthesis is a chemical process through which plants, some bacteria and algae, produce glucose and oxygen from carbon dioxide and water, using only light as a source of energy.
  • This process is extremely important for life on earth as it provides the oxygen that all other life depends on.
Image of Photosynthesis

Image of Photosynthesis

Image of Photosynthesis

How Can You Increase Photosynthesis?

Three factors can limit the speed of photosynthesis: light intensity, carbon dioxide concentration and temperature.

  • Light intensity. Without enough light, a plant cannot photosynthesis very quickly, even if there is plenty of water and carbon dioxide.
  • Carbon dioxide concentration.
  • Temperature.

Increasing the light intensity boosts the speed of photosynthesis.

Conducted Research

  • Scientists had targeted plant’s natural Sun-protection mechanism. This mechanism evolved in plants along with its ability to produce food using sunlight energy.
  • The Sun-protection mechanism evolved in plants to protect them from Sun damage by slowing down the photosynthesis by losing the excess heat.
  • Scientists inserted extra copies of the genes responsible for this heat-loss switch in the plants to remove inefficiencies in crops resulting in loss of the excess heat.
  • This gene stopped heat-loss switch, stopped the heat loss, and used excess heat for enhancing photosynthesis.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 19, 2016

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