Stomata represent the entry point into the leaf for CO2 that will be fixed by rubisco in photosynthesis and the exit point of water as it is lost to the atmosphere. As such, they are subject to tight regulation in response to the environment so that water loss is minimised and a supply of CO2 is maintained […]
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
The speed at which photosynthesis is induced during shade-sun transitions, such as sun-flecks, contributes towards determining crop yield. The speed of induction can be limited by the dynamics of stomatal and mesophyll conductance, deactivation rates of photoprotective mechanisms, the acclimation rate of photosynthesis, and the activity of Rubisco activase. Salter et al screened 58 genotypes of […]
Modern crop production is intimately linked to the availability of nitrogen. Photosynthetic proteins (including rubisco) account for most of the nitrogen in leaves, a significant amount of which is removed during harvesting and must be replenished primarily through the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. In this Expert View, Evans & Clarke revisit the nitrogen budget of […]
It has been over seventy years since Melvin Calvin and Andrew Benson first started on their journey to discovering the Calvin-Benson cycle – the series of biochemical reactions in which the Sun’s energy is converted to chemical energy stored inside the cells of plants, cyanobacteria and algae. In this very accessible review, Sharkey plots the […]
Photosynthesis Special Issue This week’s ‘What We’re Reading’ summarizes the latest papers from the field of photosynthesis research. This includes a review on the discovery of the Calvin-Benson cycle by Tom Sharkey, and an Expert View on the relationship between nitrogen and photosynthesis by John Evans & Victoria Clarke. There are also summaries of research […]
C4 photosynthesis relies on the transport of carbon (in the form of C4 acids) from the mesophyll into bundle sheath cells (BSCs). Subsequent decarboxylation of these C4 acids generates a high concentration of CO2 in the vicinity of Rubisco, helping to improve the catalytic efficiency of this enzyme. However, carbon can also enter BSCs via […]
Elevated CO2 (eCO2) encourages plant growth through increased photosynthetic rates and lower stomatal conductance. However, eCO2 also has knock-on effects on plant secondary metabolism, which can also affect plant growth. In this review, Gamage et al explore these ‘post-photosynthetic’ effects in detail. Through analysis of the literature, the authors show that eCO2 modulates carbon metabolism, […]
In contrast to the much-studied photosynthetic processes in C4 plant vasculature, the processes in the cells surrounding C3 veins remain much less understood. Here, there appears to be a partial and more spatially-separated C4 pathway, which has been observed in several species including rice, Arabidopsis, Scots pine and celery. In this review, Gao et al […]
The light reactions of photosynthesis are under constant regulation in order to continue operating efficiently and avoid photodamage in a fluctuating light environment. One mechanism to avoid photodamage is the dissipation of excess excitation energy as heat, which can be determined by measuring non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence. The various mechanisms responsible for NPQ […]