Dr Marjorie Lundgren is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. Her research focusses on C2 and C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis systems using ecophysiology and phylogeographic methods to understand how diverse photosynthetic systems evolve. Her work highlights the agronomic potential of the C2 mode of photosynthesis to enhance photosynthesis under different environments.
Title:Engineering C2 photosynthesis for crop improvement
Webinar date: Tuesday 5th April 2022 14.00 CET
Abstract: C2 photosynthesis is a rare carbon concentrating mechanism that increases photosynthetic efficiency by recycling and concentrating CO2 released by photorespiration. C2 plants therefore maintain the benefits of photorespiration (e.g., facilitating nitrogen assimilation) while reducing carbon losses from this pathway, allowing these plants to assimilate more total carbon than C3 plants under high temperatures and low and ambient CO2 concentrations, where rates of photorespiration impair crop yields. The C2 system may also convey physiological flexibility to tolerate temporally heterogeneous environments. The physiological benefits and broad ecological tolerance conveyed by C2 photosynthesis make this pathway a promising target for crop improvement. I will discuss the potential for engineering C2 photosynthesis into C3 crops as a promising approach to improve photosynthetic performance under variable environmental conditions and environments that promote high rates of photorespiration.