This article from Cornell University discusses the role of algae in boosting plant efficiency and increasing yields.

Photo credit: Myat Lin. Fluorescent microcompartments (green) in chloroplasts (red). The chloroplasts, the site of photosynthesis, are colored red due to chlorophyll autofluorescence. The microcompartments are labeled with a green fluorescent protein.

“As humanity faces more mouths to feed thanks to a swelling global population, new research has taken a step toward employing genes from blue-green algae to improve staple crop photosynthesis – a potential improvement that could boost plant efficiency and increase yields.

Scientists at Cornell and the U.K.’s Rothamsted Research report using genes from blue-green algae – called cyanobacteria – to create micro-compartments inside photosynthesizing plant cells, an important breakthrough for improving photosynthesis.

The study was published online May 8 in The Plant Journal.

All plants employ an enzyme called Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, where plants combine…”

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