News International Sugar Journal

Discovery of ‘scarecrow’ gene may boost yields of temperate crops [Registered]

Cornell University researchers have identified a gene that could increase crop yields by 50%. The gene, called Scarecrow, controls the Kranz anatomy in leaf structure, which leads to more efficient photosynthesis. Plants photosynthesize using one of two methods: C3, a less efficient, ancient method found in most plants, including wheat and rice; and C4, a more efficient adaptation employed by grasses, maize, sorghum and sugarcane that is better suited to drought, intense sunlight, heat and low nitrogen. “Researchers have been trying to find the underlying genetics of Kranz anatomy so we can engineer it into C3 crops,” said Thomas Slewinski,…

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