Improving Rubiscos


In C3 photosynthesis, Rubisco initiates carbon assimilation through the carboxylation of RuBP.  The activity of the enzyme is regulated by interaction with a number of protein partners, including the molecular chaperone Rubisco activase.  Recent evidence suggests that speeding up the light induction of photosynthesis through faster Rubisco activation can increase crop productivity by over 20%.


RIPE is searching a range of cowpea cultivars and crop wild-relatives adapted to diverse geographical regions for natural variation in the regulation of Rubisco activity. Physiological, biochemical, molecular, and in silico analyses enable a multi-layered approach to produce novel germplasm with improved Rubisco function, either via gene editing or conventional breeding.


Watch the video below to learn more about how our team members at Lancaster University are helping cowpea breeders and producers. 


Carl Bernacchi
Doug Orr
Rhiannon Page
Samuel Taylor

Hacking evolution, screening technique may improve most widespread enzyme

Scientists have developed tools to simulate millions of years of evolution in days to help plants adapt to changing conditions. 


Enzymes with the potential to increase wheat yields

Wheat yields could be significantly increased thanks to varieties with a superior form of a common enzyme, according to new RIPE research.


Doug Orr: Enzyme Hunter

“We’re deliberately looking at a very diverse range of plants, and we aim to look at a few forests' worth of different plant species in our search for a better Rubisco.”