Engineering the rice leaf for improved photosynthesis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Animal and Plant Sciences

Abstract

mproving photosynthetic efficiency has been identified as one of the few remaining traits for exploitation if we are to achieve the significant increases in crop yield required to feed the projected 9 billion world population by 2050. Rice is the staple food for many impoverished people so that any decline in supply has a major humanitatrian impact. In recognition of this, a major international research effort to transform rice photosynthetic efficiency is underway. With significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the C4 rice consortium (co-ordinated by Paul Quick, non-academic CASE supporter on this project) is identifying the traits required to achieve this grand challenge. One of the emerging issues is that rice leaf development follows a characteristic temporal trajectory, meaning that the target tissue for engineering often becomes recalcitrant to manipulation at the exact developmental phase when engineering is required. The aim of this project is to prolong the phase of rice leaf maturation, developing a leaf chassis more amenable to engineering improved photosynthesis.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1802778 Studentship BB/M011151/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Naomi Cox