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Potential improvement of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in crops by exploiting the natural variation in the temperature response of Rubisco catalytic traits

Galmés, Jeroni, Capó-Bauçà, Sebastià, Niinemets, Ülo, Iñiguez, Concepción
Current opinion in plant biology 2019 v.49 pp. 60-67
carbon dioxide, climatic factors, crops, photosynthesis, ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase, temperature
The enhancement of the photosynthetic capacity of crops by the expression of more efficient Rubisco versions has been a main target in the field of plant photosynthesis improvement. However, such an increase in the photosynthetic efficiency will depend on the environmental conditions and on the responsiveness of Rubisco to temperature and CO2 availability. After an exhaustive compilation and standardization of the data published so far, a large natural variability in the thermal responses of Rubisco kinetic parameters in higher plant species was revealed. The variability observed was related to the photosynthetic type but a limited adaptation to the species thermal environment was found. We provide theoretical evidence that the existence of distinctive Rubisco responses to varying temperature and CO2 concentration constitutes a promising avenue for increasing the photosynthetic capacity of important crops under future climatic conditions.