Food security is a serious issue that affects all of us every day all over the world. Even in countries where food security isn’t considered an issue or existential problem, the truth is that finding ways to reduce the issue can prevent a great deal of catastrophe’s in case of an emergency and will ultimately bring our overall cost of living down quite considerably.
Because of the importance of these two factors, a group of researchers has been doing everything they can to improve the overall yield size of grains like rice. But how are they doing this? The researchers are focussing on shortening the process of photorespiration as a means of increasing the amount of photosynthesis that occurs during a plants lifecycle.
This issue has also become more important because of the growing demand being placed on the worlds shrinking cultivatable soils to produce more and more per yield every year – something that will really have negative effects on the environment if not dealt with quickly! The scientist’s theory is that by reducing the amount of photorespiration that a plant needs to go through during a yield, they can actively increase the amount of direct photosynthesis that occurs in the plant, therefore increasing yield size and amount by roughly 50% – which is a huge difference!
Basically, photorespiration is the process whereby O2 is taken in by the plant and CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. During this process, the plant uses a lot of energy and loses a lot of potential photosynthetic compounds which limit the size of the grain growth substantially. The scientists ultimately hope to bypass this process, therefore meaning that the plant converts more into photosynthetic compounds, therefore, enabling farmers to get more per yield and hopefully plant fewer plants per year or get more per square meter, therefore saving costs and the environment on a huge scale.