Realising increased photosynthetic efficiency to increase strawberry yields

Increasing global requirements for food, largely due to the growing world population, has led to the need to develop higher yielding crop varieties. Transgenic and modelling studies have provided compelling evidence that increasing the levels of photosynthetic enzymes in carbon metabolism e.g. Calvin-Benson cycle has the potential to impact yield. These studies have identified photosynthetic carbon assimilation as an untapped target to increase photosynthetic efficiency and yield by as much as 60%. Recently, manipulation photosynthesis in wheat was shown to boost seed yield by 30 to 40%.

Objectives

The overall aims of this project are:

  1. to exploit the extensive knowledge of photosynthesis and experience gained from its manipulation in model species to produce strawberry plants with enhanced photosynthetic performance and increased yield;
  2. to produce new transgenic strawberry lines with altered levels of multiple targets enzymes of the Calvin-Benson cycle, photorespiration and CO2 transport;
  3. to identify strawberry lines with increased biomass and fruit yield and analyse the impact on the flavour and aroma profiles of selected fruit.