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

    Photo of Stephen Long holding a soybean leaf in the sun.

    In a TED Talk, Stephen Long, a professor of plant biology and of crop sciences at the U. of I., describes his and his colleagues’ work to improve photosynthetic efficiency in crops. Multiple published studies demonstrate their innovations dramatically increase crop yields.

    Photo by Fred Zwicky


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  • Editor’s notes:   

    To reach Stephen Long, email and/or RIPE communications manager Allie Arp at

    These related papers are available online:

    Zhu XG, De Sturler E, Long SP (2007) Optimizing the distribution of resources between enzymes of carbon metabolism can dramatically increase photosynthetic rate: A numerical simulation using an evolutionary algorithm. Plant Physiology, 145, 513-526. DOI: 10.1104/pp.107.103713

    Rosenthal DM, Locke AM, Khozaei M, Raines CA, Long SP, Ort DR (2011) Over-expressing the C3photosynthesis cycle enzyme Sedoheptulose-1-7 Bisphosphatase improves photosynthetic carbon gain and yield under fully open air CO2 fumigation (FACE). Bmc Plant Biology, 11. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-11-123 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-11-123

    South PF, Cavanagh AP, Liu HW, Ort DR (2019) Synthetic glycolate metabolism pathways stimulate crop growth and productivity in the field. Science, 363, 45- DOI: 10.1126/science.aat9077

    Cavanagh AP, South PF, Bernacchi CJ, Ort DR (2022) Alternative pathway to photorespiration protects growth and productivity at elevated temperatures in a model crop. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 20, 711-721. DOI: 10.1111/pbi.13750

    Kromdijk J, Glowacka K, Leonelli L, Gabilly ST, Iwai M, Niyogi KK, Long SP (2016) Improving photosynthesis and crop productivity by accelerating recovery from photoprotection. Science, 354, 857-861. DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8878

    De Souza AP, Burgess SJ, Doran L, Hansen J, Manukyan L, Maryn N, Gotarkar D, Leonelli L, Niyogi KK, Long SP (2022) Soybean photosynthesis and crop yield are improved by accelerating recovery from photoprotection. Science, 377, 851-854. DOI: 10.1126/science.adc9831