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Combining Approaches for Photosynthetic Improvement to Allow Increased Sustainability in Eruopean Agriculture

Many people know that photosynthesis uses light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates that allow plants to grow and develop. What if photosynthesis could be improved significantly? The European Horizon-2020 funded project CAPITALISE (Grant agreement ID: 862201) tries to address this question focusing on three strategies: the tuning of the Calvin cycle, the kinetics of photosynthetic responses to changes in irradiance, and the tuning leaf chlorophyll content. Capitalise aims to explore the potential to exploit natural variation in core elements of photosynthesis to identify and develop new genetic resources and support tools needed to improve the photosynthesis of three staple crops: maize, barley and tomato. 

The Crop Genetics group leads a work package involved with germplasm management and genomic characterization, and brings into CAPITALISE the MAGIC maize and the i-MAGIC populations to be characterized for their photosynthetic traits. The CAPITALISE consortium is contributed by outstanding research groups from all over the world, including EU, UK, Israel and Ethiopia.

More information may be found on the project website and Twitter