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Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Jul;7(7):283-5.

C(4) photosynthesis in terrestrial plants does not require Kranz anatomy.

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  • 1Deparment of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3B2.


C(4) photosynthesis in terrestrial plants was thought to require Kranz anatomy because the cell wall between mesophyll and bundle sheath cells restricts leakage of CO(2). Recent work with the central Asian chenopods Borszczowia aralocaspica and Bienertia cycloptera show that C(4) photosynthesis functions efficiently in individual cells containing both the C(4) and C(3) cycles. These discoveries provide new inspiration for efforts to convert C(3) crops into C(4) plants because the anatomical changes required for C(4) photosynthesis might be less stringent than previously thought.

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