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2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13749

Plant science: Towards turbocharged photosynthesis

G. Dean Price and Susan M. Howitt


figureThe development of tobacco plants that are genetically engineered to produce a more efficient form of Rubisco, an enzyme involved in photosynthesis, marks a step towards increasing crop yields.

As the world's population increases, the spectre of severe food shortages is growing, with the United Nations predicting that food production will need to double by 2050. It has been proposed that cyanobacteria — which obtain their energy from a highly efficient form of photosynthesis — might hold the key to increasing the yield of our most important crops and vegetables. On page 547 of this issue, , Lin et al. report a major step towards realizing this possibility, finding that cyanobacteria can be used to improve photosynthesis in the leaves of crops.

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