Don Ort headshot

Reengineering photosynthesis for adaptation to global climate change

Donald Ort's area of expertise lies in the area of photosynthesis and the ability to reengineer it to be adapted for global climate change and to improve its efficiency in agricultural situations.

By: Richard Jacobs | FutureTechPodcast

Picture of panelists

Illinois experts share: Emerging technologies and the role of GMOs

A discussion on GMOs and their role within our food systems. During a roundtable conversation, experts will share details of genetic modification, including how it is developed, tested and regulated to help ensure food safety, and why farmers and scientists view this as another effective tool in the toolbox to help grow and raise our food.

Organized by: Illinois Farm Families

Close-up picture of wheat

Engineering Photosynthesis

There’s some bad news, followed by good news, but partially countered by further bad news. The bad news is that our population is growing, and therefore our food requirements, and yet we are approaching the limits of our ability to increase crop yield with cultivation alone. 

By:  | General Science 

Paul South and Don Ort stand in a field trial.

Can better photosynthesis help feed the world?

Plant researchers have been thinking about using improved photosynthesis to increase crop yields for decades, but now that goal is almost within reach.

By:  | Undark

Turbo-charged

Turbo-Charged Photosynthesis Could Make Crops Grow Faster While Using Fewer Nutrients

One of the great ironies of evolution is that almost all known life depends on one of the slowest and most inefficient enzymes on Earth. Now scientists have taken the largest step towards transferring a work-around from cyanobacteria into a plant.

By: IFLScience 

ARC

Crop genetic benefit two fold thanks to algae

Alge has long been known to be one of natures greatest carbon sinks, with some estimates being as high as 25% of carbon being captured into the biosphere by micro-organisms. Now researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have engineered tiny carbon-capturing engines from blue-green algae into plants.

By: Cameron Costigan | Into the Void Science

Researchers hold tobacco plants next to growth chambers.

Algae could be crucial to boosting crop yields

Scientists have made the break through, into the way plants convert carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into energy.

By: Eddie Summerfield | 2GB 873 AM

This Week in Science teaser image of the hosts.

This Week in Science Podcast

Australian scientists have managed to combine a CO2-eating carboxysome from blue-green algae with the cells of crop plants in the hopes that yields will eventually increase some 60%.

By: Kirsten Sanford | This Week in Science Podcast

Steve Long

The plant whisperer

A famine crisis is looming. Stephen Long's work aims to feed the masses by supercharging the plants we eat. 

By: Duncan Greere | BBC Focus Magazine

Paul South collecting measurements in field

Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47 percent

Can you imagine the entire population of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France going hungry? You don’t need to imagine.

By: Paul South | RIPE Project || The Conversation

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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  

tobacco

Rebooting food: Finding new ways to feed the future

Welcome to the brave new world of food, where scientists are battling a global time-bomb to find new ways to feed the future.

By: Thin Lei Win | Reuters

crops

Genetic engineering innovation makes plants more efficient at using water

The world population is growing rapidly, and that signals big challenges when it comes to how best to feed and fuel everyone our planet has to support. Already agriculture uses 90 percent of the world’s freshwater supply, but this will need to be stretched even further as Earth’s population increases.

By:  | Digital Trends 

A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.  “The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they are ready to grow it," Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project's manager at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), told me.  Cowpeas, known as black-eyed peas in the United States, are a key

Plagued by pest, African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas—for free

Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.

By: Paul McDivitt | Genetic Literacy Project