Recent Posts

New Insights into Carboxysomes

Despite its essential role in photosynthetic carbon fixation, ribulose 1,5 bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is a relatively inefficient enzyme, due in part to its inability to discriminate between CO2 and O2 as substrates. To suppress the oxygenase reaction and enhance the carboxylase activity…

Reporter‐based screen to identify bundle sheath anatomy mutants ($) (Plant J)

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…

How Peroxisomes Modulate Chloroplast Activity in a Microalga

Background: Chloroplasts are the major powerhouse of plant and algal cells, where photosynthesis—the conversion of carbon dioxide into organic compounds using sunlight energy—occurs. Chloroplasts are also where important cell components (such as membrane lipids and pigments) and energy-rich compounds…

BSD2 is a Rubisco specific assembly chaperone, forms intermediary hetero‐oligomeric complexes and is non‐limiting to growth in tobacco (Plant Cell Environ)

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…

Bundle sheath chloroplast volume can house sufficient Rubisco to avoid limiting C4 photosynthesis during chilling (J Exp Bot)

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…

A thylakoid-located carbonic anhydrase regulates CO2 uptake in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (New Phytol)

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…

Roles of RbcX in carboxysome biosynthesis in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongates PCC 7942  (Plant Physiol)

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…

Whole plant chamber to examine sensitivity of cereal gas exchange to changes in evaporative demand (Plant Methods)

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…

Rate of photosynthetic acclimation to fluctuating light varies widely among genotypes of wheat (bioRxiv)

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…