Improving Rubisco

Rubisco regulation is currently one of the most inefficient parts of the photosynthetic process. Through gene editing, the RIPE team aims to develop efficient Rubisco regulation that increases cowpea and soybean yields in current and future climates. Due to rising temperatures around the world, the genetics being developed for future food crops must work at higher temperatures for longer periods of time than today's crops. A significant inefficiency in today's crops is the plants' reaction time to changing light conditions. Crop leaves experience many fluctuations in light throughout each day, due to intermittent clouds, overlying leaves, and the sun's daily passage across the sky. In today's densely planted crops, these fluctuations are the norm. Lower efficiency of photosynthesis due to slow adjustment to light changes are estimated to cost up to 40 percent of potential productivity. Improving Rubisco regulation is a strategy that can improve food crops today and for the future.

  • Watch the video below to learn more about this work and the importance of partnering with cowpea breeders and producers from our team members at Lancaster University.
  • Check out the Lancaster photosynthesis team's website for their latest news and updates. 

Caty Marsden
Doug Orr
Rhiannon Page
Picture of wheat

Scientists unlocking heat-tolerant wheat

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By: Katy Askew || FoodNavigator

Cowpea thumbnail

Fickle sunshine slows down Rubisco and limits photosynthetic productivity of crops

Researchers from Lancaster University are working to improve the sustainable productivity of key crops in sub-Saharan Africa have discovered a new imperfection in the way Rubisco functions in cowpea and believe this imperfection is likely shared with other crops.

Three researchers pose next to wheat in a glasshouse.

Scientists take a step closer to heat-tolerant wheat

Researchers found out how to trigger photosynthesis more efficiently at higher temperatures in wheat.


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