Rubisco uses CO2 from the air to carboxylate its substrate RuBP, resulting in an increase in fixed carbon. However, rubisco can also oxygenate RuBP and this leads to the production of glycolate. Plants must invest energy in recycling this toxic by-product in a process called photorespiration, resulting in a loss of fixed carbon. South et […]
Author Archive for: mpage
About Mike Page
I am a plant molecular biologist whose main research interests include the role of photosynthesis as a sensor of environmental cues, as-well-as the use of synthetic biology to engineer improvements in photosynthetic efficiency to increase crop yields.
I have a background in plant responses to abiotic stress, particularly those involving antioxidant defences. I have worked on several research projects focused on characterising retrograde signalling mechanisms, both during chloroplast development (biogenic control) and in mature plants (operational control). I am currently working on a synthetic biology project which aims to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of rice, the world’s most important crop. By engineering the cyanobacterial carbon dioxide concentrating mechanism into rice chloroplasts, I hope to improve rice yields in a sustainable manner. I believe synthetic biology will play a major role in shaping the future of crop production.
Entries by Mike Page
High wind speeds may result in substantial damage to crop canopies, resulting in a loss of productivity. Lower wind speeds affect crop canopies in different ways – while physical damage does not occur, the movement of plant tissues impacts photosynthetic capacity by altering the light environment, particularly at lower levels of the canopy. Assessing the […]
Installation of C4 photosynthesis into C3 crops appears a realistic way to boost crop yields. A key aspect of C4 photosynthesis is an enlarged bundle sheath volume and an increase in bundle sheath chloroplast number. To identify the regulators of this phenotype, Döring et al. subjected Arabidopsis seeds to EMS mutagenesis, and employed a high-throughput […]
Assessing the effect of rising CO2 concentrations on plant growth and physiology traits is crucial in order to determine how ecosystems and crop production systems will perform in future climates. Such assessments have been made with free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments, which have provided a wealth of data on plant responses to changes in atmospheric […]
Increases in atmospheric CO2 have been shown to confer enhanced photosynthetic rates, boosting plant growth and yield. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the content of minerals important for human health are reduced in both the foliar and edible tissues when plants are grown under elevated CO2 (eCO2). However, future increases in atmospheric CO2 are likely […]
The rubisco holoenzyme is comprised of eight large subunits and eight small subunits (L8S8). Several auxiliary proteins are required to correctly assemble the functional protein. In this manuscript, Conlan et al investigate the chaperone function of one of these proteins, BSD2, in tobacco. The authors confirmed that in leaf tissue, BSD2 forms stable complexes with L8, which […]
It has long been thought that C4 species generally perform less well than C3 species in cold environments as a consequence of a physical space restriction. C3 species tend to accumulate more rubisco under chilling stress to avoid limiting photosynthesis, but there is less capacity for this in C4 species as rubisco is confined solely to bundle sheath cells […]
The cyanobacterial CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM) is dependent on a continuous supply of inorganic carbon (Ci) to rubisco inside carboxysomes in order to function optimally. CO2 uptake pathways are therefore of great importance for a full understanding of the cyanobacterial CCM. Sun et al demonstrate that a thylakoid bound carbonic anhydrase (CA), EcaB, converts CO2 to bicarbonate (HCO3–) as […]
Introduction of the cyanobacterial carboxysome into C3 crops represents a viable strategy to increase photosynthetic conversion efficiency and boost crop yield. Key to this challenge is gaining a full understanding of the carboxysome system in cyanobacteria, including how these microcompartments assemble and function. In this manuscript, Huang et al investigated the role of RbcX, one of the chaperones […]