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Transgenic Expression of Rubisco Factors Increases Maize`s Photosynthesis and Chilling Tolerance
Wednesday, 2024/06/19 | 08:37:34

Maize is a widely grown crop worldwide and is essential to global food security. However, like other plants, its growth and productivity are limited by the slow activity of Rubisco, the enzyme responsible for carbon assimilation during photosynthesis. Scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) have demonstrated a promising approach to enhancing Rubisco production to improve photosynthesis and overall plant growth.


The BTI study involved the transgenic expression of three key proteins, Rubisco Accumulation Factor 2 (Raf2) and the large and small Rubisco subunits. The researchers overexpressed these proteins, which increased Rubisco content, accelerated carbon assimilation, and boosted plant height in maize. The BTI team found that while acting at different steps of the Rubisco assembly, Raf1 and Raf2 could independently enhance Rubisco abundance and plant performance. This opens possibilities for further improvements by stacking the traits together, potentially leading to even greater photosynthetic capacity.


The transgenic plants that the BTI team developed also showed improved resilience to chilling stress, a common environmental challenge that severely impacts crop yields. The researchers observed that these plants maintained higher photosynthetic rates during cold exposure and recovered more rapidly after the stress subsided. These findings hold exciting possibilities for other crops such as staple foods with similar photosynthetic pathways to maize, including sorghum, millet, and sugarcane.


For more details, read the news article on the BTI website.

See https://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=20853


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