Plant Physiology | VOL. 155
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Focus Issue on Enhancing Photosynthesis: Enhancing Photosynthesis

Publication Date Jan 1, 2011

Abstract

The industrialization of cereal production in India about 50 years ago was associated with dramatic increases in yields worldwide. As a consequence, there was a reduction in famine. The worldwide impact was called the “Green Revolution,” for which Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. The introduction of dwarfing genes into cereals enabled the use of greater amounts of fertilizer, which resulted in substantial yield increases. The dwarf stature also led to a larger fraction of crop biomass being allocated to grain, the harvested product. A concerted effort by plant breeders and agronomists has driven continuous improvement in cereal yields. World population has grown from 3 billion in 1960 to nearly 7 billion in 2010, increasing demand for food, animal feed, and bioenergy. With world population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050, a further increase in yield of at least 28% is necessary. Crops will also have to be adjusted for climate change, and production may be limited by the supply of irrigation water and loss of arable land. Reducing the gap between average farm yield and potential yield (that obtained with best management practice in the absence of water, nutrient, pest, and disease limitations) will enable yield increases to continue for some time. However, there is a growing realization that to sustain increases in potential yield, biomass production needs to be increased. Biomass is produced by photosynthesis. Once a crop has been adapted to fully exploit the interception of sunlight and alloc...

Concepts

Increases In Yield Enhancing Photosynthesis Photosynthesis Borlaug Use Of Greater Amounts Further Increase In Yield Photosynthetic Carbon Reduction Cycle Average Farm Yield Interception Of Sunlight Increases In Potential Yield

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