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Scientists uncover a novel mechanism that regulates carbon dioxide fixation in plants
Date:3/3/2008

k together and therefore cannot function, thus slowing the Calvin cycle. The darker it is, the more PRK-GAPDH partnerships are formed and the slower the Calvin cycle becomes. In the light, they break apart rapidly and the Calvin cycle is allowed to speed up.

This fundamental research has revealed a novel mechanism and provides a better understanding of the regulation of CO2 fixation in plants. This work will underpin strategies to increase the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by plants thereby increasing yield for food and biofuel production, and may ultimately feed into the development of fourth generation biofuels.

Research Leader, Professor Christine Raines of the University of Essex, said: Although this research focuses on the fundamental biological processes that plants use, ultimately, if we can understand these processes, we can use the knowledge to develop and improve food and biofuel crops.

Dr Tom Howard, who contributed to the research, said: Plants have evolved a fascinating way to cope with variations in their local environments. Unlike animals, they cannot move on to look for new food sources. This research helps to unlock one way that plants deal with the ultimate variable the amount of sunshine they receive.

Professor Nigel Brown, BBSRC Director of Science and Technology said: With a growing world population and increasing demands for energy we need to consider new ways to improve food and fuel production. Sophisticated basic research in areas which have been studied for many decades, such as this work funded by BBSRC, furthers our understanding of natural processes that have the potential to be harnessed to meet future challenges.


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Contact: Nancy Mendoza
nancy.mendoza@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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