"The Evolution of Photosynthetic Efficiency"

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Monday 07 May 2018, 11:30 - 13:00


Plants biosynthesise all of the macromolecules they need from inorganic carbon and nitrogen obtained from the environment. Of these two resources, nitrogen is scarcer and hence plant growth rate is nitrogen limited in both natural and agricultural environments. The photosynthetic efficiency of a plant is the amount of carbon that it can fix per unit nitrogen. Multiple anatomical, physiological and molecular factors contribute to variation in photosynthetic efficiency such that there is substantial variation between different plant species. In this talk I will discuss how studying the evolution of a highly efficient form of photosynthesis known as C4 photosynthesis has enabled us to discover key molecular components of photosynthetic efficiency. I will also discuss the surprising finding that variation in photosynthetic efficiency can directly influence the evolution of plant genes and genomes.

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Prof Steven Kelly
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Oxford