How synthetic biology in farming could slow climate change: ‘Supercharged’ photosynthesis, increased CO2 storage and more are in the works

image f eb ba c ad a
Credit: Shutterstock

Efforts to improve the genetics of food crops are as old as agriculture …. but synthetic biology techniques, including CRISPR-Cas9 and other gene-editing systems, have sped up the process and made new approaches possible. As climate change threatens the world’s food-growing systems, plant scientists, industry, and governments hope to use these powerful methods to make plants hardier and land more productive. Here are some of their targets.

Shrinking stems

Bayer Crop Science is …. developing and field-testing conventionally bred and genetically modified corn varieties that are a meter or more shorter—and much sturdier—than any corn that farmers have previously grown. According to Bob Reiter, head of R&D for Bayer Crop Science, farmers should be able to pack more of the smaller plants into the same area, thereby producing more food on the same land, and prevent stems from breaking in the wind.


Extending Roots

Related article:  Calyxt gene-edited soybean oil debuts in Midwestern US restaurants

Several groups are working to boost crop yields by improving and increasing root formation. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are taking the idea one step further by making plants with roots that are not only bigger but also resistant to decomposition, potentially enabling them to store more carbon underground.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend