Recent Posts

Effect of leaf temperature on the estimation of photosynthetic and other traits of wheat leaves from hyperspectral reflectance (J. Exp. Bot.)

Efficient phenotyping is important for plant breeding. For wheat, leaf reflectance spectra can be used to calculate leaf traits that impact crop yield, particularly constituent (leaf mass per area, nitrogen/chlorophyll content) and physiological (Rubisco carboxylation activity, electron transport…

A long shot: Photosynthesis-derived systemic signal controls lateral root emergence (Plant Physiol.)

Photosynthesis, in addition to generating ‘food’ for plants, is also known to control root growth, although the mechanism has been unknown. Duan and co-workers identified CYCLOPHILIN38 (CYP38) as necessary for photosynthesis-mediated lateral root (LR) emergence. The chloroplast-localized CYP38 is…

Review: Mesophyll conductance: walls, membranes and spatial complexity (New Phytol.)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how to improve the carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco, but of course this also depends on how much CO2 reaches the enzyme within the chloroplasts. To do so, it needs to pass through several distinct barriers: the boundary layer to reach the leaf surface, the…

A high-five for high light protection

Kasper van Gelderen Utrecht University k.vangelderen@uu.nl Plants cannot live without light, but they also cannot live with too much light. Beyond a certain threshold, a high light intensity will damage the photosynthetic apparatus directly. Furthermore, high light leads to the production of reactive…

Alternative CAM and water-saving flux modes into C3 leaf metabolic model (Plant Cell)

Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a photosynthetic adaptation pathway in arid environments to minimize water loss by opening the stomata at night, when the temperature and therefore water loss due to transpiration is lower. Carbon dioxide is initially fixed at night and stored in the vacuole. Engineering…

Leaf angle control across the sorghum canopy (Plant Physiol.)

In a rosette-forming plant like Arabidopsis, leaf radial angle is optimized to prevent self-shielding. By contrast, in a plant such as sorghum, leaf vertical angle affects self-shading. A “smart canopy” model has been proposed in which upper leaves have a more upright orientation to allow more light…

Condensation of Rubisco into a proto-pyrenoid in higher plant chloroplasts (bioRxiv)

Rubisco is a major enzyme in assimilating CO2 during photosynthesis. The efficiency of CO2 assimilation is compromised by a low ratio of CO2/O2, especially in C3 plants like rice, wheat and soybean. Algae sequester Rubisco as a condensate in a microcompartment called a pyrenoid within the chloroplast…

How circadian changes in metabolism affect hybrid vigor

Zhi Li, Andan Zhu, et al. compare inbred and hybrid lines to explore how daily changes in metabolic pathways affect hybrid vigor. The Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.20.00320  Background: Heterosis or hybrid vigor refers to the superior growth or fitness in the hybrid progeny compared to one…

The structure of a triple complex of plant photosystem I with ferredoxin and plastocyanin (Nature Plants)

Photosystem I (PSI) is a membrane-bound protein complex that plays a central role in the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy to drive assimilate production.  Photosystem I is an enzyme complex that transfers electrons from plastocyanin (Pc) to ferredoxin (Fd). Here Caspy et al. have characterized…