Can we optimise the number of chloroplasts in plants to increase their levels of photosynthesis? That way, plants can store more CO2 and play a greater role in protecting our climate.
Searching for genetic switches
The goal of this research is to optimise the amount of chloroplasts in plants. We're searching for genetic switches that can increase the number of chloroplasts, creating more chlorophyll in the leaves and leading to more photosynthesis. As a result, plants can store more CO2 and do an even better job of protecting our climate.
Optimising switches for more chlorophyll
The technology is focused on identifying transcription factors and other genetic switches that affect chlorophyll levels. Next, we look at introducing these switches into model plants like tobacco using metabolic engineering and turning them on and off in a controlled way. Primarily, we want to research the costs and benefits of higher levels of chlorophyll in a plant. Ultimately, this should lead to plants that can handle different quantities of light as efficiently as possible, both in greenhouses and in the open field.