Modeling Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis—the 170-step natural process in which plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow—is one of the most basic, yet incredibly complex, processes in biology. It is also inefficient. Approximately only 5 percent of the energy from sunlight is converted into plant growth and even less into the parts of the plants that we eat. 

Scientists speculate that photosynthesis transformed if they could find which steps out of the total 170 can be tweaked and modified to make the process more efficient. With the rapid increase in technological advancements, computers can simulate photosynthesis in a real-life environment. These simulations provide a realistic representation of the entire process and can show what happens to plants if variables were to be manipulated, such as light energy distribution by altering the angle of leaves, adding additional cellular machinery, or changes in climate. By using mathematical equations in the computer system, it is possible to see which potential combinations of changes in photosynthesis would lead to the most crop growth and highest yields.

 

Simulation of cassava growing
RIPE simulation of cassava growth. Created by Yu Wang.

 


Anthony Digrado
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Peng Fu headshot
Bethany Holland
Deepak Jaiswal headshot
Pouyan Khakbaz
Steve Long
Megan Matthews
Justin McGrath
Diwakar
Qingfeng Song
Yu Wang
Yi Xiao
Honglong Zhao
Xinguang Zhu
cassava graphic

Cassava breeding could impair yield by 20 per cent

Breeding African cassava cultivars for improvements such as pest and disease resistance could impair their yield potential, a study suggests.

By: Paul Adepoju || SciDevNet  

Scientists find ways to improve cassava, a ‘crop of inequality’ featured at Goalkeepers

A new study has identified opportunities to increase the yields of the staple root crop cassava.

Improved model could help scientists better predict crop yield, climate change effects

Our team created a computer model of how microscopic leaf pores open in response to light to create better virtual plants.

 

New 3D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

As farmers survey their fields this summer, several questions come to mind: How many plants germinated per acre? How does altering row spacing affect my yields? Does it make a difference if I plant my rows north to south or east to west? Now a computer model can answer these questions by comparing billions of virtual fields with different planting densities, row spacings, and orientations.