Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Biotech Science

Scientists Aim To Improve Photosynthesis 156

vasanth writes "Two new initiatives at the University of Cambridge aim to address the growing demand on the Earth's resources for food and fuel by improving the process of photosynthesis. Four transatlantic research teams – two of which include academics from Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences – will explore ways to overcome limitations in photosynthesis which could then lead to ways of significantly increasing the yield of important crops for food production or sustainable bioenergy. Despite the fact that photosynthesis is the basis of energy capture from the sun in plants, algae and other organisms, it has some fundamental limitations. There are trade-offs in nature which mean that photosynthesis is not as efficient as it could be – for many important crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet, the theoretical maximum is only 5%, depending on how it is measured. There is scope to improve it for processes useful to us, for example increasing the amount of food crop or energy biomass a plant can produce from the same amount of sunlight."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Aim To Improve Photosynthesis

Comments Filter:
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @02:27AM (#35790118)
    Sorry, but there is no way that pasture systems can be as efficient as ithe modern intensive farming system. That's exactly why we use the intensive system - it can produce so much more food from a given area, and for such a low cost, that it's almost impossible for anything else to compete in the market. The only possible way is to target the premium market of customers who will pay extra, such as by labeling the food as organic.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev