Previous studies have demonstrated that the independent stimulation of either electron transport or RuBP regeneration can increase the rate of photosynthetic carbon assimilation and plant biomass. In this paper, we present evidence that a multigene approach to simultaneously manipulate these two processes provides a further stimulation of photosynthesis. We report on the introduction of the cyanobacterial bifunctional enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase/sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase or the overexpression of the plant enzyme sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase, together with the expression of the red algal protein cytochrome c6, and show that a further increase in biomass accumulation under both glasshouse and field conditions can be achieved. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the stimulation of both electron transport and RuBP regeneration can lead to enhanced intrinsic water-use efficiency under field conditions.
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The data that support the findings of this study, the plant transformation constructs and the seed are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.
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This study was supported by the Realising Improved Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) initiative awarded to C.A.R. by the University of Illinois. RIPE was possible through support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID and FFAR, grant no. OPP1172157. This work was also supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant no. BB/J004138/1. We thank J. Matthews (University of Essex) for help with the data analysis, E. A. Pelech (University of Illinois) and S. Subramaniam (University of Essex) for help with plant growth, P. A. Davey (University of Essex) and R. Gossen (University of Helsinki) for help with gas exchange, and D. Drag, B. Harbaugh and the Ort lab (University of Illinois) for support with the field trials.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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López-Calcagno, P.E., Brown, K.L., Simkin, A.J. et al. Stimulating photosynthetic processes increases productivity and water-use efficiency in the field. Nat. Plants 6, 1054–1063 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-020-0740-1
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