Predictions suggest that current crop production needs to double by 2050 to meet global food and energy demands. Based on theory and experimental studies, overexpression of the photosynthetic enzyme sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (SBPase) is expected to enhance C3 crop photosynthesis and yields. Here we test how expression of the cyanobacterial, bifunctional fructose-1,6/sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (FBP/SBPase) affects carbon assimilation and seed yield (SY) in a major crop (soybean, Glycine max). For three growing seasons, wild-type (WT) and FBP/SBPase-expressing (FS) plants were grown in the field under ambient (400 μmol mol−1) and elevated (600 μmol mol−1) CO2 concentrations [CO2] and under ambient and elevated temperatures (+2.7 °C during daytime, +3.4 °C at night) at the SoyFACE research site. Across treatments, FS plants had significantly higher carbon assimilation (4–14%), Vc,max (5–8%), and Jmax (4–8%). Under ambient [CO2], elevated temperature led to significant reductions of SY of both genotypes by 19–31%. However, under elevated [CO2] and elevated temperature, FS plants maintained SY levels, while the WT showed significant reductions between 11% and 22% compared with plants under elevated [CO2] alone. These results show that the manipulation of the photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle can mitigate the effects of future high CO2 and high temperature environments on soybean yield.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andy_vanloocke/21/