Faster responses of photosynthesis to light transitions increase biomass and grain yield in transgenic Sorghum bicolor overexpressing Rieske FeS [article]

Maria Ermakova, Russell Woodford, Zachary Taylor, Robert T Furbank, Srinivas Belide, Susanne von Caemmerer
2022 bioRxiv   pre-print
Sorghum is one of the most important crops providing food and feed in many of the world's harsher environments. Sorghum utilises the C4 pathway of photosynthesis in which a biochemical carbon concentrating mechanism results in high CO2 assimilation rates. Overexpressing the Rieske FeS subunit of the Cytochrome b6f complex was previously shown to increase the rate of photosynthetic electron transport and stimulate CO2 assimilation in the model C4 plant Setaria viridis. To test whether
more » ... y of C4 crops could be improved by Rieske overexpression, we created transgenic Sorghum bicolor plants with increased Rieske content. The transgenic plants showed no marked changes in abundance of other photosynthetic proteins or chlorophyll content. Increases in yield of Photosystem II and CO2 assimilation rate as well as faster responses of non-photochemical quenching during transient photosynthetic responses were observed as a result of an elevated in vivo Cytochrome b6f activity in plants overexpressing Rieske. The steady-state rates of electron transport and CO2 assimilation did not differ between transgenic and control plants, suggesting that Cytochrome b6f is not the only factor limiting electron transport in sorghum at high light and high CO2. Nevertheless, more agile responses of photosynthesis to light transitions led to increases in biomass and grain yield in plants overexpressing Rieske. Our results indicate that increasing Rieske content could boost productivity of C4 crops by improving the efficiency of light utilisation and conversion to biomass.
doi:10.1101/2022.07.25.501469 fatcat:5q6nxag7c5d7ddjgj6odcwu3du