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Photosynthesis: Diving deep into the process in the era of climate change

Plant Physiology Reports

Donald R. Ort, Viswanathan Chinnusamy & Ashwani Pareek


Photosynthesis provides the building blocks as well as fuels the entire living world around us. Anthropongenic climate change began with the start of the industrial revolution a century and a half ago, but particularly over the past two decades, the planet has experienced unprecedented environmental change that limits the capacity of photosynthesis and, in turn, threatens its ability to adequately sustain the globe. Among the most prominent consequences of climate change are the reduction in plant growth, in crop yield and in the nutritional quality of food and feed. Therefore, it is high time to accelerate our understanding of the effects of climate change on photosynthesis and devise strategies to adapt photosynthesis to achieve optimal yield in the portending future climate. This special issue is intended to serve as a forum for discussing current challenges, reviewing recent relevant research, and developing state-of-the-art practices for adapting and redesigning photosynthesis for its future challenges. The focus of this issue is towards understanding the mechanisms that determine the climate resilience of photosynthetic components, with a few articles also providing insight into another component of global change, the effects of harmful environmental compounds on photosynthesis. At the same time, new tools to study and manipulate the intricacies of the process of photosynthesis are also discussed. This special issue is a timely opportunity to celebrate 90th Birthday of Govindjee, Professor Emeritus of Plant Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who is popularly known as ‘Mr Photosynthesis’.

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The Ort Lab 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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