Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
..
. Farming News .




FARM NEWS
Maths study of photosynthesis clears the path to developing new super-crops
by Simon Levey for ICL News
London, UK (SPX) Oct 21, 2013


File image.

How some plant species evolved super-efficient photosynthesis had been a mystery. Now, scientists have identified what steps led to that change.

Around three per cent of all plants use an advanced form of photosynthesis, which allows them to capture more carbon dioxide, use less water, and grow more rapidly. Overall this makes them over 50% more efficient than plants that use the less efficient form.

A new study has traced back the evolutionary paths of all the plants that use advanced photosynthesis, including maize, sugar cane and millet, to find out how they evolved the same ability independently, despite not being directly related to one another.

Using a mathematical analysis, the authors uncovered a number of tiny changes in the plants' physiology that, when combined, allow them to grow more quickly; using a third as much water as other plants; and capture around thirteen times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Together, these individual evolutionary advances make up a 'recipe' that could be used to improve key agricultural crops that only use the less efficient form. The study's authors say this knowledge could be used to breed super-crops such as faster growing, drought-resistant rice.

The research was led by mathematician Dr Iain Johnston from Imperial College London and plant biologist Dr Ben Williams from the University of Cambridge, and is published in the journal eLife. They came together to test whether a new mathematical model of evolution could be used to unpick the evolutionary pathways that led to the advanced photosynthesis.

"My main interest is in using tools from maths to make some concrete progress in a problem of real biological and social value," said Dr Johnston. "Encouragingly for the efforts to design super-efficient crops, we found that several different pathways lead to the more efficient photosynthesis - so there are plenty of different recipes biologists could follow to achieve this."

Dr Julian Hibberd from the University of Cambridge, the final author on the paper, added: "This is not only an interesting mathematical result, it should help biological scientists to develop crops with significantly improved yields to feed the world. Like the proverbial roads that all lead to Rome, Ben and Iain have shown that there are many routes taken by plants in the evolutionary process."

The next step for the biologists is to recreate the natural evolution of the more advanced photosynthesis by mirroring the genetic and physiological changes in simple laboratory plants, and eventually in rice.

"Phenotypic landscape inference reveals multiple evolutionary paths to C4 photosynthesis" was published by Ben P Williams, Iain G Johnston, Sarah Covshoff and Julian M Hibberd in eLife

.


Related Links
Imperial College London
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FARM NEWS
Urban soil quality and compost
Madison WI (SPX) Oct 18, 2013
With higher populations and limited space, urban areas are not often thought of as places for agriculture. A recent surge in community gardens, though, is bringing agriculture and gardens into the cities. And certain byproducts of urban life - food and yard waste and municipal biosolids - can benefit those gardens, and the soils in them, tremendously. Sally Brown, associate professor at Un ... read more


FARM NEWS
Indra Leads The European G-Sextant Earth Observation Project

Astrium unveils first WorldDEM sample data

Astrium Enhances TerraSAR-X Resolution and Coverage Capabilities

Iron in the Earth's core weakens before melting

FARM NEWS
DLR, Thales Alenia Space and SES Develop Innovative Space-Based Air Traffic Control Monitoring System

Boeing, China Southern and China Aviation Authorities Establish Precision Navigation Procedures

Plan maps development of China's sat-nav industry

Raytheon completes critical design review for GPS OCX software

FARM NEWS
A few tree species dominate Amazon

Field Museum scientists estimate 16,000 tree species in the Amazon

Climate change creates complicated consequences for North America's forests

Massive spruce beetle outbreak in Colorado tied to drought

FARM NEWS
Ethanol Safety Seminar Planned in Tacoma

US Biodiesel Production Surpasses Set Target for Second Straight Year

AREVA awarded a contract for the construction of a biomass power plant in the Philippines

New device harnesses sun and sewage to produce hydrogen fuel

FARM NEWS
Harvard Business School installs AC PV solar array

Overcrowded German solar inverter market pushes suppliers to the brink

Solar Exchange Advances to Final Round at Solar Startup Challenge

Tecta Announces Roof+Solar Financing Program

FARM NEWS
Spain launches first offshore wind turbine

Key German lawmaker: End renewable energy subsidies by 2020

Installation of the first AREVA turbines at Trianel Windpark Borkum and Global Tech 1

Trump's suit to halt wind farm project to be heard in November

FARM NEWS
Two China miners saved 10 days after flood, 10 confirmed dead

Calculating the true cost of a ton of mountaintop coal

Ukraine designates 45 coal mines for sale in privatization push

German coal mine turns village into ghost town

FARM NEWS
Outspoken China professor fired for poor teaching: university

China court to issue Bo Xilai appeal decision Friday

Mayor of Chinese city of Nanjing fired for corruption

Record-breaking Chinese artist Zeng lifts the mask




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement