Thanks to Anthropocene:
by Catherine Elton | Nov 28, 2016
When plant leaves absorb too much sunlight, a mechanism kicks in that releases the excess energy as heat, rather than photosynthesizing it. While it prevents leaf damage, sometimes it is too much of a good thing. That’s because once a cloud moves in or another leaf casts a shadow, there is a lag time before photosynthesis ramps up again. This lag time can rob crops of 20 percent of their full potential in terms of yield.
Using genetic engineering, a group of researchers recently discovered how to reduce this lag and achieve an increase in yield. The discovery was made with tobacco plants (they are easy to work with), but the idea is to apply the technology to food crops to help meet growing food demand…
…The experiments revealed that the genetically modified plants fixed CO2 at a rate 9 percent greater than the control. This increased efficiency translated into a 14 to 20 percent greater dried plant weight as compared to the control. The experimental plants were also taller and had bigger leaves. The results were similar in greenhouse conditions.
Source: Kromdijk J et al. Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection. Science. 2016.
Read the whole summary here.