Prof. Akiho Yokota (Graduate School of Biological Sciences) received the Prizes for Science and Technology (Research Category) by MEXT on April 11, 2011.

Biological Sciences 2011/05/18

Discovery and application of genes for fortifying plant productivity

Akiho Yokota, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, NAIST

Creation of sustainable low-carbon society with plants is becoming an important global concern to be solved urgently. I have undertaken the task of revealing of photosynthetic carbon metabolism and its responses to environmental stresses since getting the PH.D degree. It has been unraveled that there are many inconvenient steps in the photosynthetic ability in leaves and the capacity of storage organs to store photosynthates. We have found several genes that promise high levels of plant productivity in wild watermelon plants and algae. Simultaneous introduction of these genes into potato plants caused 25 to 35% increase in photosynthesis in leaves and 2 to 3.5-fold increases in the tuber yield. These outcomes are expected to contribute to creation of sustainable low-carbon society.

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