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According to ScienceAlert (This article and its images were originally posted on ScienceAlert January 3, 2019 at 08:56PM.)
Scientists have fixed a natural flaw in photosynthesis, and as a result have boosted plant productivity by an incredible 40 percent compared to wild relatives.
Photosynthesis is the chemical reaction that lets plants turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into food, and this new hack could result in enough calories to help feed another 200 million people on our planet, from the same volume of crops.
As of now, the fix has only been applied to tobacco plants, so we’re a long way off using this to boost our food supply. But it’s an incredibly promising first step.
So what is this ‘glitch’ that needed fixing? It’s a little-known step in photosynthesis known as photorespiration.
“We could feed up to 200 million additional people with the calories lost to photorespiration in the Midwestern US each year,” says principal investigator Donald Ort from the University of Illinois Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.
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