Prospects for Engineering Biophysical CO2 Concentrating Mechanisms into Land Plants to Enhance Yields

Jessica H. Hennacy, Martin C. Jonikas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Although cyanobacteria and algae represent a small fraction of the biomass of all primary producers, their photosynthetic activity accounts for roughly half of the daily CO2 fixation that occurs on Earth. These microorganisms are able to accomplish this feat by enhancing the activity of the CObinf2einf-fixing enzyme Rubisco using biophysical CObinf2einf concentrating mechanisms (CCMs). Biophysical CCMs operate by concentrating bicarbonate and converting it into CObinf2einf in a compartment that houses Rubisco (in contrast with other CCMs that concentrate CObinf2einf via an organic intermediate, such as malate in the case of CO2 CCMs). This activity provides Rubisco with a high concentration of its substrate, thereby increasing its reaction rate. The genetic engineering of a biophysical CCM into land plants is being pursued as a strategy to increase crop yields. This review focuses on the progress toward understanding the molecular components of cyanobacterial and algal CCMs, as well as recent advances toward engineering these components into land plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-485
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
StatePublished - Apr 29 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


  • CO concentrating mechanism
  • Rubisco
  • carboxysome
  • crop yields
  • pyrenoid
  • synthetic biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prospects for Engineering Biophysical CO2 Concentrating Mechanisms into Land Plants to Enhance Yields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this