Dr Sam Taylor is an ecophysiologist interested in leaf photosynthetic performance.
With Prof Elizabete Carmo-Silva, at Lancaster University’s Lancaster Environment Centre, a current focus is understanding how Rubisco activity contributes to photosynthetic regulation during and following self-shading in crop canopies. Other work has addressed the implications of global change and adaptation in crop and non-crop grasses, including comparative studies of C3 and C4 lineages.
Title: Diurnal Rubisco activity and photosynthetic induction
Webinar date: Tuesday 7th June 2022 14.00 CET
Because of their central role as gatekeepers of carbon assimilation, Improving Rubiscos is a key theme of RIPE, Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency, an international research project engineering crops to be more productive by improving photosynthesis. At Lancaster University, the Improving Rubiscos team has been working to establish how Rubisco activity responds to shading of leaves, an inevitable and frequent reality in sunlit crop canopies. Rubisco activity is maximised in saturating light and decreases in shade, but while transitions between sunlight and shade in crop canopies are effectively instantaneous, changes in Rubisco activity depend on chloroplast biochemistry. This means there are biochemistry-dependent lags between changes in light and Rubisco activity, and suggests opportunities for genetic improvement. The complexity of leaf and chloroplast physiology makes characterising these opportunities difficult, but our research in cowpea suggests promising new targets (https://rdcu.be/cFnpi). Using results from brassicas and cowpea, I will show how we identified these new opportunities for improving photosynthesis.