Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis …

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Pineapple Genome: A Reference for Monocots and …

Humans have cultivated pineapple for more than 6,000 years, beginning in present-day southwest Brazil and northeast Paraguay. Today, more than 85 countries produce about 25 million metric tons of pineapple fruit each year, with a gross production value approaching $9 billion.

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Pineapple Genome: A Reference for Monocots and CAM Photosynthesis

Understanding the evolution of these different types of photosynthesis will help scientists in their efforts to develop more productive, drought-tolerant varieties of essential crops, Ming said.

There is no doubt that heavily laden branches do shade lower vegetation and intercept light needed for photosynthesis.

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The team discovered that CAM photosynthesis evolved by reconfiguring molecular pathways involved in C3 photosynthesis.


03/11/2015 · Researchers Sequence Pineapple Genome

A closer look at the pineapple genome revealed that some genes that contribute to CAM photosynthesis are regulated by the plant's circadian clock genes, which allow plants to differentiate day and night and adjust their metabolism accordingly.

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CAM photosynthesis allows the plant to absorb and "fix carbon dioxide into molecules during the night, concentrate it in its leaves and release it the next day for photosynthesis," Ming said.

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CAM and C4 photosynthesis, which is common among grasses, use many of the same enzymes to concentrate carbon dioxide in plant leaves, the researchers report. Other plants, such as soybeans, use the less efficient C3 photosynthesis, which lacks the CO2-concentrating mechanisms of C4 and CAM photosynthesis.

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple.

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"All plants contain the necessary genes for CAM photosynthesis, and the evolution of CAM simply requires rerouting of pre-existing pathways," they wrote.

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For example, the U.S. Department of Energy has funded a project to explore the genetic mechanisms that enable CAM photosynthesis and drought tolerance in desert-adapted plants - with the aim of introducing those traits to potential biofuels crops.