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3to4: Converting C3 to C4 photosynthesis for sustainable agriculture

3to4: Converting C3 to C4 photosynthesis for sustainable agriculture

Objective

Most plants use the C3 pathway of photosynthesis that is compromised by gross inefficiencies in CO2 fixation. However, some plants use a super-charged photosynthetic mechanism called C4 photosynthesis. The C4 pathway is used by the most productive vegetation and crops on Earth. In addition to faster photosynthesis, C4 plants demand less water and less nitrogen. Overall, our aim is to introduce the characteristics of C4 into C3 crops. This would increase yield, reduce land area needed for cultivation, decrease irrigation, and limit fertiliser applications. If current C3 crops could be converted to use C4 photosynthesis, large economic and environmental benefits would ensue from both their increased productivity and the reduced inputs associated with the C4 pathway. It is important to note that the huge advances in agricultural production associated with the Green Revolution were not associated with increases in photosynthesis, and so its manipulation remains an unexplored target for crop improvement both for food and biomass. Even partial long-term success would have significant economic and environmental benefits. Efficient C4 photosynthesis would be achieved by alterations to leaf development, cell biology and biochemistry. Although initially we will be using model species such as rice and Arabidopsis we envisage rapid transfer of technological advances into mainstream EU crops, such as wheat and rape, that are used both for food and fuel. We will build capacity for C4 research in Europe in this area by the training of future generations of researchers. To achieve this aim we need to increase our understanding of the basic biology underlying the C4 pathway. Our specific objectives will therefore address fundamental aspects of C4 biology that are needed for a full understanding the pathway.

Specifically we aim:
1. To understand the roles and development of the two cell types (mesophyll and bundle sheath) in C4 plants.
2. To identify mechanisms controlling the ex
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

Address

Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2tn Sheffield

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 896 872,90

Administrative Contact

Joanne Watson (Ms.)

Participants (19)

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CHEMTEX ITALIA SRL

Italy

HEINRICH-HEINE-UNIVERSITAET DUESSELDORF

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 1 460 120

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 443 360

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ UNIVERSITAET HANNOVER

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 486 560

SHANGHAI INSTITUTES FOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

China

EU Contribution

€ 20 400

EESTI MAAULIKOOL

Estonia

EU Contribution

€ 163 080

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 155 580

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 538 157

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 149 920,50

INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Philippines

EU Contribution

€ 154 530

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 223 982

INSTITUTO DE TECNOLOGIA QUIMICA E BIOLOGICA - UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 51 200

INSTITUTO DE BIOLOGIA EXPERIMENTAL E TECNOLOGICA

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 538 017,60

KAHRAMANMARAS SUTCU IMAM UNIVERSITESI

Turkey

EU Contribution

€ 142 680

NEBION AG

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 1 227 860

ANDREW DAVIS - LIGHTHOUSE DESIGN & MARKETING

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 17 440

STREAM PROJECTS LTD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 103 200

INGEG S.R.L

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 14 400

BAYER CROPSCIENCE NV

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 19 200

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 289582

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2012

  • End date

    31 December 2016

Funded under:

FP7-KBBE

  • Overall budget:

    € 8 940 658,32

  • EU contribution

    € 6 806 560

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

United Kingdom

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