Research Topic

Photosynthesis in a Changing Global Climate: a Matter of Scale

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About this Research Topic

Photosynthesis is the central process of all primary production in the biosphere. All the biomass of the planet, all the oxygen in the atmosphere, and all the fossil fuel comes from photosynthesis. There is a total of 7000bn tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and the photosynthesis fixes more than 100bn ...

Photosynthesis is the central process of all primary production in the biosphere. All the biomass of the planet, all the oxygen in the atmosphere, and all the fossil fuel comes from photosynthesis. There is a total of 7000bn tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and the photosynthesis fixes more than 100bn tons annually (˃ 15%). The CO2 assimilated by the photosynthetic apparatus is the basis of the production of crops and, therefore, of all animal and human food.

Throughout the last decades, numerous multidisciplinary studies (in the areas of agriculture, physiology, biotechnology, molecular biology, genomics, modelling etc.) encourage the interest of the in-depth study of the photosynthetic apparatus as a tool to increase the growth and production of plants under different environmental conditions. Photosynthesis is conditioned by the effect of environmental variables (water availability, temperature, [CO2], salinity, ozone, etc.) on the diffusion of CO2 through the leaf and/or biochemical processes within it. Although it is generally accepted that stomatal closure is a target factor limiting photosynthetic activity under moderate stress conditions, when stress is more severe, it has been found that metabolic deterioration occurs. Moreover, in the last decades, variable phenotypic/genotypic response to abiotic stress has been identified as target to improve crop response to stress and as a tool to better understand the genetic mechanisms regulating that response. However, despite its importance, our current understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of the photosynthetic process together with the use of novel plant phenotyping technologies is still incomplete, specifically under abiotic stress conditions.

Being photosynthesis the target core of the topic under changing global climate, this Research Topic aims to shed light on cutting-edge lines of:

1) Studies emphasizing photosynthesis regulation from the plant standpoint under specific stress conditions owing to climate changes, such as:
- Increased atmospheric (CO2)
- High day- and/or night-time and extreme temperatures
- Droughts and water scarcity
- Waterlogging, and rising sea levels and effects on coastal plants, flooding
- Salt stress
- Excessive irradiance or excessive UV light intensity
- Elevated atmospheric O3

2) Studies addressing functional insights into the photosynthetic machinery under abiotic stress conditions, using crop plants as well as model plant species to provide a deeper understanding of photosynthesis processes. Please note, descriptive studies using -omics approaches will be considered for review only if they are extended to provide further insights into the photosynthesis machinery functioning and regulation.

3) Manuscripts reporting on the meta-analyses and crop modelling of photosynthesis under a variety of environmental conditions.

4) High-throughput phenotyping techniques oriented to find photosynthetic traits responsible of tolerance to abiotic stress.


Keywords: Photosynthesis, Climate Change, Crops, Abiotic Stress


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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