There has been an ongoing debate whether enhancing leaf photosynthesis can raise yield potential (as defined by Fischer and Edmeades, 2010 ) given the many steps between leaf photosynthesis and final yield. Poor correlations between leaf photosynthetic rates and crop yields (often comparing lines that differ genetically in many respects), together with suggestions that the crop is sink and not photosynthesis limited, have led to the view that improving photosynthesis is unlikely to increase yield ( Sinclair et al., 2004 ). However, two lines of evidence contradict this. First, free-air CO 2 enrichment studies have shown that CO 2 -induced increases in leaf photosynthesis generally lead to increased crop yield. Second, C 4 plants have greater rates of photosynthesis and produce more biomass per unit of intercepted sunlight than C 3 plants ( Sheehy et al., 2007 ). Long et al. (2006) provide an excellent debate of these issues. The potential benefit from introducing dwarfing genes for the green revolution took additional breeding and selection to increase the fraction of biomass in grain. A similar concerted effort will be needed to capture enhanced photosynthesis in increased growth. Previous Section Next Section IMPROVING C 3 PHOTOSYNTHESIS CO 2 Diffusion:
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