Ancient enzymes: a potential path to improve photosynthesis

An April 2022 publication in Science Advances, describes some recent work in the lab to improve photosynthesis. The paper describes the evolution of Rubisco, an important yet inefficient carbon-fixing enzyme, using computational methods. These computational methods led to the prediction of ancestral Rubisco variants that were tested in E. coli under different CO2 conditions. Enzymes with higher catalytic efficiency were identified. Overall, the results highlight ways to help plants adapt to anthropogenic climate change. Check out a Cornell CALS news article for a longer description of the work.

Dr. Maureen Hanson and Dr. Myat Lin
Photo credit: Cornell University

Kevin Hines featured on OVPR website

Hanson lab graduate student, Kevin Hines, was featured in an article on the Cornell Office of the Vice Provost for Research website. The article provides insight into Hines from his research journey at Cornell to his current work on increasing photosynthetic efficiency in tobacco. Click the link above to read the full article.

Cyanobacterial Rubisco Publication in Nature Journal

Cyanobacterial Rubisco introduced into transplastomic tobacco plants was reported in Nature in September, 2014.  Two different tobacco genotypes that fix all carbon with a Rubisco enzyme derived from cyanobacteria have been produced following engineering the chloroplast genome by two different strategies.  Producing these plants are an important step needed to introduce the entire cyanobacterial CO2-concentration mechanism into crop plants for improved photosynthesis and crop yield.
Nature News Nature Editorial New Scientist Cornell Chronicle MIT Technology Review Cornell Daily Sun Gizmodo PBS Newshour Chemical and Engineering News Science Alert (Australia) Planet Experts Spektrum (in German) Le Scienze (in Italian) Popular Mechanics ZME Science Futurity IFL Science Rothamsted Research Nature World News The Why Files: The Science Behind the News

Scroll to top