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C4 Rice: Pathways and prospects

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Rice yields must increase by 50% by the year 2050. This is due to a projected doubling of the population in Asia with a concomitant increase in the demand for rice. Conventional breeding is increasing yields by only 1% or 2% annually, and there are negative pressures on yield from climate and land use changes. As such, novel intervention to develop high yielding rice varieties is needed. It has been proposed that integrating C4 photosynthesis into C3 crops such as rice could be used to increase their maximum yields by approximately 50%. However, installing C4 photosynthesis in rice is challenging because the C4 pathway is complex and involves alterations to the biochemistry, cell biology and development of rice leaves. A summary of current efforts to convert rice from C3 to C4 will be provided.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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