Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47%

Alex Whitebrook/ August 9, 2018/ News/ 0 comments

Can you imagine the entire population of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France going hungry?

You don’t need to imagine. That is exactly what happens every day when an estimated 815 million people around the globe go hungry.

Recent reports suggest that by the time children born today reach their thirties, the planet must increase food production by at least 70 per cent.

As a biochemist, I started my career in biomedical research, but I shifted to agricultural research in 2013 because everybody needs to eat. Now I’m working with an international research project exploring how to boost food production.

Researcher Patricia Lopez working with tobacco seedlings in the lab (Monica Kennedy)
The goal of Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency is to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis – the process plants use to convert energy from the sun into the food we eat.

In our most recent publication we’ve shown that it is possible to dramatically boost crop yield by enabling the plant to get rid of its toxins more quickly.

It’s critical we begin developing new crops now, because it can still take at least a decade for agricultural innovations to reach farmers.

When it comes to photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to power a chemical reaction that converts carbon dioxide and water to sugars, oxygen and energy. But that isn’t the only chemical reaction that occurs in plants.

Read more HERE.

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