Research Article

Synthetic glycolate metabolism pathways stimulate crop growth and productivity in the field

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Science  04 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6422, eaat9077
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat9077

Fixing photosynthetic inefficiencies

In some of our most useful crops (such as rice and wheat), photosynthesis produces toxic by-products that reduce its efficiency. Photorespiration deals with these by-products, converting them into metabolically useful components, but at the cost of energy lost. South et al. constructed a metabolic pathway in transgenic tobacco plants that more efficiently recaptures the unproductive by-products of photosynthesis with less energy lost (see the Perspective by Eisenhut and Weber). In field trials, these transgenic tobacco plants were ∼40% more productive than wild-type tobacco plants.

Science, this issue p. eaat9077; see also p. 32

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