A wish list for synthetic biology in photosynthesis research

Xin Guang Zhu*, Donald R. Ort, Martin A.J. Parry, Susanne Von Caemmerer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    This perspective summarizes the presentations and discussions at the "International Symposium on Synthetic Biology in Photosynthesis Research", which was held in Shanghai in 2018. Leveraging the current advanced understanding of photosynthetic systems, the symposium brain-stormed about the redesign and engineering of photosynthetic systems for translational goals and evaluated available new technologies/tools for synthetic biology as well as technological obstacles and new tools that would be needed to overcome them. Four major research areas for redesigning photosynthesis were identified: (i) mining natural variations of photosynthesis; (ii) coordinating photosynthesis with pathways utilizing photosynthate; (iii) reconstruction of highly efficient photosynthetic systems in non-host species; and (iv) development of new photosynthetic systems that do not exist in nature. To expedite photosynthesis synthetic biology research, an array of new technologies and community resources need to be developed, which include expanded modelling capacities, molecular engineering toolboxes, model species, and phenotyping tools.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2219-2225
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2020


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