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Title: Fine-tuning the photosynthetic light harvesting apparatus for improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass yield

Abstract

Photosynthetic electron transport rates in higher plants and green algae are light-saturated at approximately one quarter of full sunlight intensity. This is due to the large optical cross section of plant light harvesting antenna complexes which capture photons at a rate nearly 10-fold faster than the rate-limiting step in electron transport. As a result, 75% of the light captured at full sunlight intensities is reradiated as heat or fluorescence. Previously, it has been demonstrated that reductions in the optical cross-section of the light-harvesting antenna can lead to substantial improvements in algal photosynthetic rates and biomass yield. By surveying a range of light harvesting antenna sizes achieved by reduction in chlorophyll b levels, we have determined that there is an optimal light-harvesting antenna size that results in the greatest whole plant photosynthetic performance. We also uncover a sharp transition point where further reductions or increases in antenna size reduce photosynthetic efficiency, tolerance to light stress, and impact thylakoid membrane architecture. Plants with optimized antenna sizes are shown to perform well not only in controlled greenhouse conditions, but also in the field achieving a 40% increase in biomass yield.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Pebble Labs, Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Pusan National Univ., Busan (Korea, Republic of)
  4. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1613560
Grant/Contract Number:  
AR0000202
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Science & Technology

Citation Formats

Friedland, N., Negi, S., Vinogradova-Shah, T., Wu, G., Ma, L., Flynn, S., Kumssa, T., Lee, C. -H., and Sayre, R. T. Fine-tuning the photosynthetic light harvesting apparatus for improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass yield. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49545-8.
Friedland, N., Negi, S., Vinogradova-Shah, T., Wu, G., Ma, L., Flynn, S., Kumssa, T., Lee, C. -H., & Sayre, R. T. Fine-tuning the photosynthetic light harvesting apparatus for improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass yield. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49545-8
Friedland, N., Negi, S., Vinogradova-Shah, T., Wu, G., Ma, L., Flynn, S., Kumssa, T., Lee, C. -H., and Sayre, R. T. Tue . "Fine-tuning the photosynthetic light harvesting apparatus for improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass yield". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49545-8. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1613560.
@article{osti_1613560,
title = {Fine-tuning the photosynthetic light harvesting apparatus for improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass yield},
author = {Friedland, N. and Negi, S. and Vinogradova-Shah, T. and Wu, G. and Ma, L. and Flynn, S. and Kumssa, T. and Lee, C. -H. and Sayre, R. T.},
abstractNote = {Photosynthetic electron transport rates in higher plants and green algae are light-saturated at approximately one quarter of full sunlight intensity. This is due to the large optical cross section of plant light harvesting antenna complexes which capture photons at a rate nearly 10-fold faster than the rate-limiting step in electron transport. As a result, 75% of the light captured at full sunlight intensities is reradiated as heat or fluorescence. Previously, it has been demonstrated that reductions in the optical cross-section of the light-harvesting antenna can lead to substantial improvements in algal photosynthetic rates and biomass yield. By surveying a range of light harvesting antenna sizes achieved by reduction in chlorophyll b levels, we have determined that there is an optimal light-harvesting antenna size that results in the greatest whole plant photosynthetic performance. We also uncover a sharp transition point where further reductions or increases in antenna size reduce photosynthetic efficiency, tolerance to light stress, and impact thylakoid membrane architecture. Plants with optimized antenna sizes are shown to perform well not only in controlled greenhouse conditions, but also in the field achieving a 40% increase in biomass yield.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-49545-8},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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