University of Illinois researchers have built a better plant, one that produces more leaves and fruit without needing extra fertilizer. The researchers accomplished the feat using a computer model that mimics the process of evolution. Theirs is the first model to simulate every step of the photosynthetic process.
This is one of those situations where you can invest your time more wisely programming and leveraging a supercomputer to work through all the possible experiments much much faster than working through the permutations in the lab.
By rearranging the investment of nitrogen, we could almost double efficiency. An obvious question that stems from the research is why plant productivity can be increased so much. Why haven’t plants already evolved to be as efficient as possible?
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