There is a need for a ground-breaking technology to radically increase crop yields in Europe and beyond. Improved photosynthesis will be the foundation of these radical yield increases.
Photosynthesis is the engine of plant productivity. It is a remarkable process that uses absorbed light-energy to transform carbon dioxide from the air into carbohydrates, the basic building blocks of biomass.
Our project aims to translate major advances in photosynthetic improvement from model plant species into three important crop species (Barley, Maize and Tomato). CAPITALISE has identified key physiological responses or properties that are promising candidate strategies to improve photosynthesis to meet EU crop breeding needs for increased yields.
These lead photosynthesis strategies are the ‘MoVaPs’, our Most Valuable Players:
- Tuning of the Calvin Cycle;
- The kinetics of photosynthetic responses to changes in irradiance;
- Tuning leaf chlorophyll content.
The approach translates recent research advances demonstrating photosynthesis driven increases in yield above 10% directly to crops. This includes breakthrough work using GM models by our partners at the University of Essex, Lancaster University, the University of Cambridge and new avenues of research by Stichting VU and CEA.
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