Biotechnological strategies for improved photosynthesis in a future of elevated atmospheric CO2
Singer, S.D., Soolanayakanahally, R.Y., Foroud, N.A., Kroebel, R. (2020). Biotechnological strategies for improved photosynthesis in a future of elevated atmospheric CO2, 251(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-019-03301-4
Plain language summary
The demand for crop products is increasing at a rapid rate as a result of population growth, as well as our escalating affluence, per capita calorie consumption, and need for plant-based bioproducts. Meeting this challenge will undoubtedly require a multifaceted approach; however, improving crop productivity will provide one piece of the puzzle. Enhancing the efficiency of photosynthesis (and corresponding biomass and seed yields) has been a goal of plant biotechnologists for quite some time, and it has been suggested that it may be one of few remaining means of developing new cultivars with increased yields. Unfortunately, the vast majority of studies attempting to achieve this have not taken into consideration possible outcomes when plants are grown under long-term elevated CO2 concentrations, which will likely be evident in the not too distant future. Since CO2 concentrations have a considerable effect on the photosynthetic process, such evaluations should become a priority in order to ensure that research remains focused on approaches that will prove most effective under future climate scenarios. In this review, we discuss the major biotechnological strategies that are currently under investigation with the aim of improving photosynthetic efficiency and yield gains in the context of a future of elevated CO2. We also consider alternative approaches that might provide further photosynthetic benefits under these conditions.
© 2019, Crown.Main conclusion: The improvement of photosynthesis using biotechnological approaches has been the focus of much research. It is now vital that these strategies be assessed under future atmospheric conditions. Abstract: The demand for crop products is expanding at an alarming rate due to population growth, enhanced affluence, increased per capita calorie consumption, and an escalating need for plant-based bioproducts. While solving this issue will undoubtedly involve a multifaceted approach, improving crop productivity will almost certainly provide one piece of the puzzle. The improvement of photosynthetic efficiency has been a long-standing goal of plant biotechnologists as possibly one of the last remaining means of achieving higher yielding crops. However, the vast majority of these studies have not taken into consideration possible outcomes when these plants are grown long-term under the elevated CO2 concentrations (e[CO2]) that will be evident in the not too distant future. Due to the considerable effect that CO2 levels have on the photosynthetic process, these assessments should become commonplace as a means of ensuring that research in this field focuses on the most effective approaches for our future climate scenarios. In this review, we discuss the main biotechnological research strategies that are currently underway with the aim of improving photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production/yields in the context of a future of e[CO2], as well as alternative approaches that may provide further photosynthetic benefits under these conditions.