Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

Artificial regulation of state transition for augmenting plant photosynthesis using synthetic light-harvesting polymer materials

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Science Advances  26 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 35, eabc5237
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc5237


Artificial regulation of state transition between photosystem I (PSI) and PSII will be a smart and promising way to improve efficiency of natural photosynthesis. In this work, we found that a synthetic light-harvesting polymer [poly(boron-dipyrromethene-co-fluorene) (PBF)] with green light absorption and far-red emission could improve PSI activity of algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa, followed by further upgrading PSII activity to augment natural photosynthesis. For light-dependent reactions, PBF accelerated photosynthetic electron transfer, and the productions of oxygen, ATP and NADPH were increased by 120, 97, and 76%, respectively. For light-independent reactions, the RuBisCO activity was enhanced by 1.5-fold, while the expression levels of rbcL encoding RuBisCO and prk encoding phosphoribulokinase were up-regulated by 2.6 and 1.5-fold, respectively. Furthermore, PBF could be absorbed by the Arabidopsis thaliana to speed up cell mitosis and enhance photosynthesis. By improving the efficiency of natural photosynthesis, synthetic light-harvesting polymer materials show promising potential applications for biofuel production.

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