Is it considered feasible to genetically improve plants for better Carbon dioxide breakdown?

Is it considered feasible to genetically improve plants for better Carbon dioxide breakdown?

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I have found several somewhat related questions and answers here and elsewhere, but I couldn't find, if any scientist groups are researching genetical improvement possibilities of existing plants' photosynthesis processes to produce plants, which would be net oxygen producers and/or significantly increase their CO2 removal abilities.

For the most part, it seems people are preoccupied with getting energy out of plants, but if we allowed that potential energy to be used for photosynthesis, wouldn't such plants be useful even if we can't harvest energy from them?

I'm not sure from your question if you're clear on the relationship between carbon fixation and 'energy', so just to be clear: carbon fixation in photosynthesis is the process of capturing CO2 and using it to store light energy in the form of carbohydrates. More CO2 capture = more harvestable 'energy'. Improving the efficiency of photosynthesis therefore captures more CO2 and generates more harvestable energy in the form of carbohydrates (edible or not).

There are three carbon fixation pathways in plants: C3, C4 and Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). The relative efficiency of the different pathways depends on the environment; for example, C4 plants are able to more efficiently fix carbon in drought, high temperatures, and limitations of nitrogen or CO2.

Because of this, scientists are indeed interested in engineering crop plants to use alternative carbon fixation pathways. One such project is the C4 Rice Project:

Many if not most plants undergo less photosynthesis than they possibly could. This is because water availability is often their major limiting factor. Plants have to keep the tissue they respire through moist just like we do, so they are constantly losing water to the environment as long as they are taking in CO2. Because of this, many plants slow or limit their gas exchange and photosynthesis. Changing the efficiency of their photosynthesis will not have any effect on the plants ability to sequester carbon. Simple high efficiency irrigation might however.

Watch the video: Εισαγωγή Μέντελ, Ορισμοί (May 2022).