Volume 92 Issue 38 | p. 8 | News of The Week
Issue Date: September 22, 2014

Pump Up The Enzyme

Plant Science: Scientists aim to improve plant photosynthesis with genes from cyanobacteria
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: Rubisco, photosynthesis, tobacco

Scientists have genetically engineered a tobacco plant to contain a cyanobacterial variant of a crucial photosynthetic enzyme, raising hopes that this strategy could someday be used to increase crop yields (Nature 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13776).

The ubiquitous enzyme Rubisco converts CO2 into sugar during photosynthesis, but in plants, it’s slow and inefficient. A faster Rubisco would mean faster photosynthesis, and potentially higher crop yields—something that . . .

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