Scientists debunk potential link to crop cold tolerance
When temperatures drop, the enzyme Rubisco that fuels plant growth and yield gets sluggish. Many crops compensate by producing more Rubisco; however, scientists speculated that some crops may lack space in their leaves to boost the production of this enzyme, making them more susceptible to cold. A new study from the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology refutes this theory but found these crops are far from reaching their photosynthetic potential.
Plant scientists knew soybeans, rice, and other C3 crops have room for extra Rubisco in their leaves. However, C4 crops—such as corn and sugarcane—use mesophyll cells to biochemically pump carbon dioxide into their inner cells, called the bundle sheath, where Rubisco resides amongst carbon dioxide concentrations that are ten times greater than atmospheric levels. More carbon dioxide makes Rubisco more efficient.
Phys.org: Scientists debunk potential link to crop cold tolerance
Science Daily: Scientists debunk potential link to crop cold tolerance
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