Enhancing C3 photosynthesis: An outlook on feasible interventions for crop improvement

Jitender Singh, Prachi Pandey, Donald James, Kottakota Chandrasekhar, V. Mohan Murali Achary, Tanushri Kaul, Baishnab C. Tripathy, Malireddy K. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Summary: Despite the declarations and collective measures taken to eradicate hunger at World Food Summits, food security remains one of the biggest issues that we are faced with. The current scenario could worsen due to the alarming increase in world population, further compounded by adverse climatic conditions, such as increase in atmospheric temperature, unforeseen droughts and decreasing soil moisture, which will decrease crop yield even further. Furthermore, the projected increase in yields of C3 crops as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations is much less than anticipated. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase crop productivity beyond existing yield potentials to address the challenge of food security. One of the domains of plant biology that promises hope in overcoming this problem is study of C3 photosynthesis. In this review, we have examined the potential bottlenecks of C3 photosynthesis and the strategies undertaken to overcome them. The targets considered for possible intervention include RuBisCO, RuBisCO activase, Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle enzymes, CO2 and carbohydrate transport, and light reactions among many others. In addition, other areas which promise scope for improvement of C3 photosynthesis, such as mining natural genetic variations, mathematical modelling for identifying new targets, installing efficient carbon fixation and carbon concentrating mechanisms have been touched upon. Briefly, this review intends to shed light on the recent advances in enhancing C3 photosynthesis for crop improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1230
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • C3 photosynthesis
  • Carbon concentrating mechanisms
  • Crop improvement
  • Photorespiration
  • RuBisCO
  • RuBisCO activase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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