There is an urgent need to achieve step changes in crop photosynthetic efficiency to meet food security and nutrition requirements.
The most important direct sources of global human calories (i.e., rice and wheat) use the C3 form of photosynthesis, such that any improvement to the C3 photosynthesis system would have far reaching benefits in feeding a growing human population.
To reduce the negative effects of photorespiration on C3 crop productivity, scientists are looking to engineer more efficient modes of photosynthesis into C3 crops. C2 is one such mode of efficient photosynthesis that evolved repeatedly across diverse plant lineages.
This simple CO2 concentrating mechanism captures, concentrates, and re-assimilates CO2 released by photorespiration to improve re-assimilation of photorespired CO2 and partially suppress photorespiration.
Dr Marjorie Lundgren will share her plans to engineer C2 photosynthesis into C3 crops and discuss its potential to effectively boost photosynthesis under different environments.
Dr Marjorie Lundgren applies plant ecophysiology and phylogeographic methods to understand how diverse photosynthetic systems evolve. She is particularly interested in C3-C4 intermediate phenotypes and C2 photosynthesis.
She is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Lecturer in Environmental Physiology within the Plant & Crop Science group in the Lancaster Environment Centre and is a member of the Photosynthesis Team at LEC. She earned her PhD in 2015 from the University of Sheffield and gained post-doctorate experience from the University of Sheffield, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.