Københavns Universitet
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Photosynthesis: The Final Frontier in Increasing Sustainable Crop Yield Potential - lecture by Stephen P. Long

Forelæsning — Stephen P. Long will talk about the Green Revolution and the potential of photosynthesis in developing sustainable crop yields in the future.


Date & Time:

Copenhagen Plant Science Centre
Bülowsvej 21 A
1871 Frederiksberg C
Lecture hall on ground floor

Hosted by:
Copenhagen Plant Science Centre


Demand for our major crops may rise 70-100% by 2050, while we look increasingly to croplands for energy as well as food, feed and urban development. This is at a time when the increases in yield seen over the past 60 years are stagnating and global change poses a further threat to production.

In reality we have little more than one crop breeding cycle in which to insure against this emerging short-fall.  The approaches of the Green Revolution are now approaching their biological limits. However, photosynthesis, which is among the best known of plant processes, falls far below its theoretical efficiency, even in our best modern cultivars.  Theoretical analysis and in silico engineering have suggested a number of points at different levels of organization from metabolism to crop canopy structure where efficiency of light, nitrogen and water use could be improved.

It will be shown that this is particularly so in the context of global atmospheric change.  Genetic transformation, both as a means and as a test of concept, have begun to validate some of these suggested improvements with greater production in the field. Synthetic and systems approaches being used in our BMGF project on Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) and related projects will be outlined and successes described.

Stepehn P. Long FRS is Gutgesell Endowed University of Illinois Professor of Crop Sciences and also Distinguished Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Lancaster, UK and Visiting Newton-Abrahams Professor at the University of Oxford, UK.