Prof. Dr. Stefan Schillberg

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schillberg

Fraunhofer IME, Forckenbeckstrasse 6, 52074 Aachen

Prof. Schillberg is the Executive Director (acting) at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen, Germany. He holds an honorary professorship at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. He has more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology with a focus on recombinant protein production, metabolic pathway development, genome editing, scale-up strategies for biological processes, and crop cultivation through vertical farming. A major goal of his activities is the translation of R&D into industrial applications. Several plant biotechnology products developed at his institute have already been exploited by industry, including plant stem cells for the cosmetic industry, a cell-free expression system based on tobacco cells, and a new vertical farming concept for indoor cultivation of crop plants.

Title: PhotoBoost – a holistic approach to improve the photosynthetic performance and productivity of C3 crops

Webinar date: Tuesday 1st November 2022  14.00 CET

Abstract: The EU-funded PhotoBoost project aims to address the global challenge of increasing the efficiency of food production by improving the photosynthetic performance and productivity of two important C3 crops, potatoes and rice. PhotoBoost partners have already shown in previous experiments that photosynthetic rates can be increased by genetic engineering, such as integrating an algal (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) carbon concentration mechanism or a bacterial photorespiratory bypass system into plants, the latter increasing potato tuber yield by 2.3-fold. The PhotoBoost project will combine two or more strategies to boost photosynthetic efficiency by at least 20 to 25 percent, and biomass yield by at least 25 to 30 percent. The successful implementation of the PhotoBoost concept will be validated by performing greenhouse and field trials under diverse environmental conditions.