Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plants could use light even more effectively for food production

Date:
May 24, 2012
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
Scientists have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food by reducing the level of pigments which make no contribution to photosynthesis. The conclusion is based on research into the effectiveness of photosynthesis in various light conditions. The scientists discovered that leaf pigments not directly involved in photosynthesis ‘dissipate’ light by absorption rather than using it effectively.

Scientists have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food by reducing the level of pigments which make no contribution to photosynthesis.
Credit: Harald Lange / Fotolia

Scientists from Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food by reducing the level of pigments which make no contribution to photosynthesis. The conclusion is based on research into the effectiveness of photosynthesis in various light conditions, which was carried out in cooperation with the VU University in Amsterdam. The scientists discovered that leaf pigments not directly involved in photosynthesis 'dissipate' light by absorption rather than using it effectively.

Their findings were published in the scientific magazine Plant Cell.

Scientists around the world have been studying issues related to how plants use light colours for photosynthesis for over 70 years. Now research into the effectiveness of photosynthesis in various light conditions has answered some of the most important questions. It has shown that plants efficiently adapt their leaves to the light colours present where they grow. In this way they use the available light as effectively as possible. The research also demonstrated how specific combinations of various light colours result in more photosynthesis than the sum of the individual light colours. This insight is relevant, among other things, for minimising energy consumption in the lighting of horticultural greenhouses.

Moreover, the scientists discovered that leaf pigments not directly involved in photosynthesis 'dissipate' light. While these non-photosynthetic pigments do absorb light, they do not use it for photosynthesis. This discovery could lead to the development of plants that produce more food by reducing the amount of these non-photosynthetic pigments. This mainly applies to 'protected' cultivation, such as in greenhouses, as at least some of the non-photosynthetic pigments have a protective function, for instance against too much UV light or insect damage. These factors are less relevant in indoor cultivation than in open fields.

Scientists from Wageningen UR and research agency Plant Lighting of first author Sander Hogewoning are currently working on translating the new knowledge into applicable innovations.

The research was supported by technology Foundation STW, NWO, Philips, Plant Dynamics BV, VU University Amsterdam, the Product Board for Horticulture, and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sander W. Hogewoning, Emilie Wientjes, Peter Douwstra, Govert Trouwborst, Wim van Ieperen, Roberta Croce, and Jeremy Harbinson. Photosynthetic Quantum Yield Dynamics: From Photosystems to Leaves. Plant Cell, May 22, 2012 DOI: 10.1105/tpc.112.097972

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Plants could use light even more effectively for food production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112344.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2012, May 24). Plants could use light even more effectively for food production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112344.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Plants could use light even more effectively for food production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112344.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins