Review: Transcriptional control of photosynthetic capacity – conservation and divergence from Arabidopsis to rice

About 3000 genes are required for a plant to carry out photosynthesis. Wang et al. review the transcriptional control of these photosynthetic genes, drawing on transcriptomic and evolutionary studies to make comparisons between Arabidopsis and grasses. Photosynthesis of course starts with light, and the authors’ review starts with photoreceptors and their downstream transcription factors, focusing on lessons from Arabidopsis. Other sections focus on the transcriptional regulators involved in chloroplast development, communication between chloroplast and nucleus, and environmental responses. The second part of the review looks at similarities and differences in these gene regulatory networks in rice. As the authors point out, extending beyond Arabidopsis is crucial to address future food demands using systems and synthetic biology applications in crop plants.  New Phytol.  10.1111/nph.14682