Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection
Faster light adaptation improves productivity
Crop plants protect themselves from excess sunlight by dissipating some light energy as heat, readjusting their systems when shadier conditions prevail. But the photosynthetic systems do not adapt to fluctuating light conditions as rapidly as a cloud passes overhead, resulting in suboptimal photosynthetic efficiency. Kromdijk et al. sped up the adaptation process by accelerating interconversion of violaxanthin and zeaxanthin in the xanthophyll cycle and by increasing amounts of a photosystem II subunit. Tobacco plants tested with this system showed about 15% greater plant biomass production in natural field conditions.
The paper "Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection" was published in Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 857-861.