Articles on Photosynthesis

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Pulses of light followed by extended dark periods might help make indoor agricultural production more sustainable. DutchScenery/Shutterstock.com

Micro-naps for plants: Flicking the lights on and off can save energy without hurting indoor agriculture harvests

Indoor plant factories have high energy costs since LEDs replace the sunlight outdoor plants get for free. Scientists found a way to dial back how much light is needed by breaking it into tiny bursts.
A farmer shows smaller-than-usual soybeans harvested due to drought conditions in Tallapoosa, Georgia. AP Photo/David Goldman

Reclaiming lost calories: Tweaking photosynthesis boosts crop yields

Many of the crop plants that feed us waste 20 percent of their energy, especially in hot weather. Plant geneticists prove that capturing this energy could boost crop yields by up to 40 percent.
Genetically engineered tobacco plants growing in a greenhouse. Paul South

Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47 percent

As the climate changes and the population grows, meeting the demand for food will become more difficult as arable land declines. But an international team of scientists has figured out an innovative solution to dramatically bumping up crop yields.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Roy Luck

Nitrogen from rock could fuel more plant growth around the world – but not enough to prevent climate change

Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth's ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.
The leaves of most plants are green because the leaves are full of green chemicals. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Why are leaves green?

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky! Why…
Once the coat around the seed is moistened, the embryo cells expand and burst out in a process called germination. shutterstock/NUM LPPHOTO

Curious Kids: how can a tiny seed actually grow into a huge tree?

A seed contains nearly everything a tree needs to get growing. Just add a dash of water, a bit of warmth and the right location, and you'll be seeing green in no time.
Cassava makes up nearly 50 percent of the diet in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where populations are projected to increase by more than 120 percent in the next 30 years. CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Research shows how to grow more cassava, one of the world’s key food crops

Cassava is a key food source in tropical countries, but yields have been flat for decades. New genetic research is identifying many options for boosting production of this valuable staple crop.

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