A Quick Photosynthesis Refresher
Photosynthesis is the well-studied process plants use to harness sunshine, water, and air to grow. The plant captures and stores light energy. Then, it synthesizes sugar from that stored energy. This sugar is what fuels the plant’s growth, so the faster the plant can synthesize sugar the more productive it will be, and the fewer resources it will need to grow.
A Bottle-Neck Catalyst?
The first step for a plant to synthesize sugar is a process called carbon fixation, which occurs through a reaction that is catalyzed by the enzyme Rubisco. But not all catalysts are created equal, and in fact Rubisco acts as a bottleneck, slowing the process of synthesizing sugar. What if plants could use different, faster enzymes and avoid Rubisco altogether?
Perlumi has developed a new carbon fixation pathway that avoids Rubisco, increasing overall speed of synthesizing sugar times. Otherwise, the process of photosynthesis remains the same. Our engineered seeds will simply use other enzymes and chemicals that are native to the plant itself. It’s a subtle but revolutionary tweak that promises to significantly boost yield and improve drought tolerance, all while using less land and few resources.
Perlumi has exclusive rights to the background IP filed and initially developed at UC Berkeley.