Toward improving photosynthesis in cassava: Characterizing photosynthetic limitations in four current African cultivars

Amanda P. De Souza, Stephen P. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite the vast importance of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) for smallholder farmers in Africa, yields per unit land area have not increased over the past 55 years. Genetic engineering or breeding for increased photosynthetic efficiency may represent a new approach. This requires the understanding of limitations to photosynthesis within existing germplasm. Here, leaf photosynthetic gas exchange, leaf carbon and nitrogen content, and nonstructural carbohydrates content and growth were analyzed in four high-yielding and farm-preferred African cultivars: two landraces (TME 7, TME 419) and two improved lines (TMS 98/0581 and TMS 30572). Surprisingly, the two landraces had, on average, 18% higher light-saturating leaf CO2 uptake (Asat) than the improved lines due to higher maximum apparent carboxylation rates of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and regeneration of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate expressed as electron transport rate (Jmax). TME 419 also showed a greater intrinsic water use efficiency. Except for the cultivar TMS 30572, photosynthesis in cassava showed a triose phosphate utilization (TPU) limitation at high intercellular [CO2]. The capacity for TPU in the leaf would not limit photosynthesis rates under current conditions, but without modification would be a barrier to increasing photosynthetic efficiency to levels predicted possible in this crop. The lower capacity of the lines improved through breeding, may perhaps reflect the predominant need, until now, in cassava breeding for improved disease and pest resistance. However, the availability today of equipment for high-throughput screening of photosynthetic capacity provides a means to select for maintenance or improvement of photosynthetic capacity while also selecting for pest and disease resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00130
JournalFood and Energy Security
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Fingerprint

Manihot
cassava
Photosynthesis
Carboxylation
cultivar
photosynthesis
Trioses
pest resistance
Breeding
trioses
Disease Resistance
disease resistance
carboxylation
breeding
Phosphates
cultivars
landraces
Genetic engineering
leaves
phosphate

Keywords

  • Carbon assimilation
  • Food security
  • Genetic engineering
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Yield improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Toward improving photosynthesis in cassava : Characterizing photosynthetic limitations in four current African cultivars. / De Souza, Amanda P.; Long, Stephen P.

In: Food and Energy Security, Vol. 7, No. 2, e00130, 05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{683770e1e74144cebcd79b43e70cb6e5,
title = "Toward improving photosynthesis in cassava: Characterizing photosynthetic limitations in four current African cultivars",
abstract = "Despite the vast importance of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) for smallholder farmers in Africa, yields per unit land area have not increased over the past 55 years. Genetic engineering or breeding for increased photosynthetic efficiency may represent a new approach. This requires the understanding of limitations to photosynthesis within existing germplasm. Here, leaf photosynthetic gas exchange, leaf carbon and nitrogen content, and nonstructural carbohydrates content and growth were analyzed in four high-yielding and farm-preferred African cultivars: two landraces (TME 7, TME 419) and two improved lines (TMS 98/0581 and TMS 30572). Surprisingly, the two landraces had, on average, 18{\%} higher light-saturating leaf CO2 uptake (Asat) than the improved lines due to higher maximum apparent carboxylation rates of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and regeneration of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate expressed as electron transport rate (Jmax). TME 419 also showed a greater intrinsic water use efficiency. Except for the cultivar TMS 30572, photosynthesis in cassava showed a triose phosphate utilization (TPU) limitation at high intercellular [CO2]. The capacity for TPU in the leaf would not limit photosynthesis rates under current conditions, but without modification would be a barrier to increasing photosynthetic efficiency to levels predicted possible in this crop. The lower capacity of the lines improved through breeding, may perhaps reflect the predominant need, until now, in cassava breeding for improved disease and pest resistance. However, the availability today of equipment for high-throughput screening of photosynthetic capacity provides a means to select for maintenance or improvement of photosynthetic capacity while also selecting for pest and disease resistance.",
keywords = "Carbon assimilation, Food security, Genetic engineering, Sub-Saharan Africa, Yield improvement",
author = "{De Souza}, {Amanda P.} and Long, {Stephen P.}",
year = "2018",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1002/fes3.130",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
journal = "Food and Energy Security",
issn = "2048-3694",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward improving photosynthesis in cassava

T2 - Characterizing photosynthetic limitations in four current African cultivars

AU - De Souza, Amanda P.

AU - Long, Stephen P.

PY - 2018/5

Y1 - 2018/5

N2 - Despite the vast importance of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) for smallholder farmers in Africa, yields per unit land area have not increased over the past 55 years. Genetic engineering or breeding for increased photosynthetic efficiency may represent a new approach. This requires the understanding of limitations to photosynthesis within existing germplasm. Here, leaf photosynthetic gas exchange, leaf carbon and nitrogen content, and nonstructural carbohydrates content and growth were analyzed in four high-yielding and farm-preferred African cultivars: two landraces (TME 7, TME 419) and two improved lines (TMS 98/0581 and TMS 30572). Surprisingly, the two landraces had, on average, 18% higher light-saturating leaf CO2 uptake (Asat) than the improved lines due to higher maximum apparent carboxylation rates of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and regeneration of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate expressed as electron transport rate (Jmax). TME 419 also showed a greater intrinsic water use efficiency. Except for the cultivar TMS 30572, photosynthesis in cassava showed a triose phosphate utilization (TPU) limitation at high intercellular [CO2]. The capacity for TPU in the leaf would not limit photosynthesis rates under current conditions, but without modification would be a barrier to increasing photosynthetic efficiency to levels predicted possible in this crop. The lower capacity of the lines improved through breeding, may perhaps reflect the predominant need, until now, in cassava breeding for improved disease and pest resistance. However, the availability today of equipment for high-throughput screening of photosynthetic capacity provides a means to select for maintenance or improvement of photosynthetic capacity while also selecting for pest and disease resistance.

AB - Despite the vast importance of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) for smallholder farmers in Africa, yields per unit land area have not increased over the past 55 years. Genetic engineering or breeding for increased photosynthetic efficiency may represent a new approach. This requires the understanding of limitations to photosynthesis within existing germplasm. Here, leaf photosynthetic gas exchange, leaf carbon and nitrogen content, and nonstructural carbohydrates content and growth were analyzed in four high-yielding and farm-preferred African cultivars: two landraces (TME 7, TME 419) and two improved lines (TMS 98/0581 and TMS 30572). Surprisingly, the two landraces had, on average, 18% higher light-saturating leaf CO2 uptake (Asat) than the improved lines due to higher maximum apparent carboxylation rates of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and regeneration of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate expressed as electron transport rate (Jmax). TME 419 also showed a greater intrinsic water use efficiency. Except for the cultivar TMS 30572, photosynthesis in cassava showed a triose phosphate utilization (TPU) limitation at high intercellular [CO2]. The capacity for TPU in the leaf would not limit photosynthesis rates under current conditions, but without modification would be a barrier to increasing photosynthetic efficiency to levels predicted possible in this crop. The lower capacity of the lines improved through breeding, may perhaps reflect the predominant need, until now, in cassava breeding for improved disease and pest resistance. However, the availability today of equipment for high-throughput screening of photosynthetic capacity provides a means to select for maintenance or improvement of photosynthetic capacity while also selecting for pest and disease resistance.

KW - Carbon assimilation

KW - Food security

KW - Genetic engineering

KW - Sub-Saharan Africa

KW - Yield improvement

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85045393546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85045393546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/fes3.130

DO - 10.1002/fes3.130

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85045393546

VL - 7

JO - Food and Energy Security

JF - Food and Energy Security

SN - 2048-3694

IS - 2

M1 - e00130

ER -