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科学美国人60秒: 提高光合作用能使作物增加产量

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Rev Up Photosynthesis To Boost Crop Yields

提高光合作用能使作物增加产量

“Photosynthesis is surprisingly inefficient, only of the order of one to two percent. And one of the main culprits is an enzyme called RuBisCo.”

“光合作用效率低得惊人,只有1%到2%左右。而其中一个主要罪魁祸首是一种名为RuBisCo的酶。”

Laura Barter, a biological chemist at Imperial College, London. Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina recorded these comments when they chatted at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.

伦敦帝国理工学院的生物化学家Laura Barter,在最近的达沃斯世界经济论坛上聊天时,科学美国人总编Mariette DiChristina记录了这些评论。

That enzyme RuBisCo? Because it’s vital for the first major step in photosynthesis, it’s probably the most abundant enzyme on the planet. And it’s worked fine for a very long time. But for our needs, we humans want it to work better.

这种酶RuBisCo?因为它对光合作用的第一个重要步骤至关重要,因此这可能是地球上最丰富的酶。而且它在很长一段时间内运行良好。但为了我们的需要,我们人类希望它能更好地工作。

“And I’m very interested in trying to improve upon this enzyme because it’s both slow and it also suffers from a lack of specificity. And it can catalyze a reaction with carbon dioxide that you want, but also a competing reaction with oxygen. And, so we’re looking at ways that we can enhance the local concentration of carbon dioxide around RuBisCo to increase its efficiency—and ultimately increase crop yield.”

“我对改善这种酶非常感兴趣,因为它既缓慢又缺乏特异性。它可以催化你想要的二氧化碳反应,但也可以与氧气竞争反应。因此,我们正在寻找能够通过提高RuBisCo,来提高当地二氧化碳浓度,从而提高提高效率并最终提高作物产量。”

Barter explained how she’s trying to do that at a talk she gave at the Forum:

“There are a suite of enzymes that are involved in the capture and release of carbon dioxide and we’re synthesizing some molecules that can mimic this behavior.

Barter解释了她如何在论坛上发表的演讲中这样做:“有一套酶参与二氧化碳的捕获和释放,我们正在合成一些可以模拟这种行为的分子。

With the hope that they can be sprayed on crops much in the same way as a fertilizer. And will be taken up by the plant and will increase the concentration of carbon dioxide around RuBisCo inside the plant and increase its activity and photosynthetic yields. Now, we have already synthesized this suite of molecules and have shown that they can capture and release carbon dioxide and we’re testing their effect on RuBisCo that’s been extracted from plants and seeing really, really, exciting results.”

希望它们可以像肥料一样喷洒在农作物上。并且将被植物吸收,并增加植物体内RuBisCo,以提高二氧化碳浓度并提高其活性和光合作用。现在,我们已经合成了这套分子,并表明它们可以捕获和释放二氧化碳,我们正在测试它们,对从植物中提取的RuBisCo的影响,并看到真正令人兴奋的结果。“

ev Up Photosynthesis To Boost Crop Yields

“Photosynthesis is surprisingly inefficient, only of the order of one to two percent. And one of the main culprits is an enzyme called RuBisCo.”

Laura Barter, a biological chemist at Imperial College, London. Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina recorded these comments when they chatted at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.

That enzyme RuBisCo? Because it’s vital for the first major step in photosynthesis, it’s probably the most abundant enzyme on the planet. And it’s worked fine for a very long time. But for our needs, we humans want it to work better.

“And I’m very interested in trying to improve upon this enzyme because it’s both slow and it also suffers from a lack of specificity. And it can catalyze a reaction with carbon dioxide that you want, but also a competing reaction with oxygen. And, so we’re looking at ways that we can enhance the local concentration of carbon dioxide around RuBisCo to increase its efficiency—and ultimately increase crop yield.”

Barter explained how she’s trying to do that at a talk she gave at the Forum:

“There are a suite of enzymes that are involved in the capture and release of carbon dioxide and we’re synthesizing some molecules that can mimic this behavior.

With the hope that they can be sprayed on crops much in the same way as a fertilizer. And will be taken up by the plant and will increase the concentration of carbon dioxide around RuBisCo inside the plant and increase its activity and photosynthetic yields. Now, we have already synthesized this suite of molecules and have shown that they can capture and release carbon dioxide and we’re testing their effect on RuBisCo that’s been extracted from plants and seeing really, really, exciting results.”


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