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Natural genetic variation in photosynthesis: an untapped resource to increase crop yield potential?

Faralli, Michele and Lawson, Tracy (2020) 'Natural genetic variation in photosynthesis: an untapped resource to increase crop yield potential?' The Plant Journal, 101 (3). pp. 518-528. ISSN 0960-7412

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Raising crop yield potential is a major goal to ensure food security for the growing global population. Photosynthesis is the primary determinant of crop productivity and any gain in photosynthetic CO2 assimilation per unit of leaf area (A) has the potential to increase yield. Significant intraspecific variation in A is known to exist in various autotrophic organs that represent an unexploited target for crop improvement. However, the large number of factors that influence photosynthetic rates often makes it difficult to measure or estimate A under dynamic field conditions (i.e. fluctuating light intensities or temperatures). This complexity often results in photosynthetic capacity, rather than realized photosynthetic rates being used to assess natural variation in photosynthesis. Here we review the work on natural variation in A, the different factors determining A and their interaction in yield formation. A series of drawbacks and perspectives are presented for the most common analyses generally used to estimate A. The different yield components and their determination based on different photosynthetic organs are discussed with a major focus on potential exploitation of various traits for crop improvement. To conclude, an example of different possibilities to increase yield in wheat through enhancing A is illustrated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: photosynthesis; genetic variation; wheat; yield; photosynthetic efficiency
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2019 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:06

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