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2015, DOI: 10.1111/nph.13522

Toward systems-level analysis of agricultural production from crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM): scaling from cell to commercial production

New Phytologist

Sarah C. Davis, Ray Ming, David S. LeBauer, and Stephen P. Long


Systems-level analyses have become prominent tools for assessing the yield, viability, economic consequences and environmental impacts of agricultural production. Such analyses are well-developed for many commodity crops that are used for food and biofuel, but have not been developed for agricultural production systems based on drought-tolerant plants that use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). We review the components of systems-level evaluations, and identify the information available for completing such analyses for CAM cropping systems. Specific needs for developing systems-level evaluations of CAM agricultural production include: improvement of physiological models; assessment of product processing after leaving the farm gate; and application of newly available genetic tools to the optimization of CAM species for commercial production.

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The LongLab is supported by many public and private partnerships, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the UK Government's Department for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

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