In TED Talk, Long describes three photosynthetic changes that boost crop yields

Steve Long holding soybean leaf
Steve Long. Photo by Fred Zwicky.

In a newly released TED TalkStephen Long a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of plant biology and crop sciences, detailed his and his colleagues’ efforts to boost photosynthesis in crop plants. He described three interventions, each of which increased crop yields by 20% or more. 

Long is the director of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency project in the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology at the U. of I. RIPE is an international research effort dedicated to improving photosynthesis to address worldwide food shortages. The project offers its technological advances to farmers in poorer regions of the world royalty-free, Long said. 

“Photosynthesis is the most studied of all plant processes,” he told his audience at a TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada. “And from that knowledge, we realize that even our most productive crops are only achieving about one-fifth of the potential efficiency of that process.” 

Read more from the Illinois News Bureau.

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