In a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, a team of scientists investigated the effects of temperature on photosynthesis, the process by which plants transform sunlight into grain and leaves.

“Understanding how different photosynthetic paths are affected by temperature is essential in order to predict the impact of climate warming on food productivity,” said Dr Balasaheb Sonawane from Washington State University, whose PhD project at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, has resulted in this publication.

Every plant on the planet uses photosynthesis to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but not all plants do it in the same way. Plants like wheat and rice use the ancient, less efficient C3 photosynthetic path, while other plants such as maize and sorghum use the more efficient C4 path.

This work was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis and the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University (WSU).

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