A significant challenge for a program focused at changing the photosynthetic system at the chloroplast level, but aimed at improving the overall growth and yield of a plant, is to have a computational means of predicting and analysing the links between photosynthesis, growth and yield.

This can be achieved by developing models of leaf photosynthesis and linking them to models of whole plant growth and development which take environmental inputs such as light, CO2 and temperature.

Program 4 focuses on developing a modelling approach that uses current computational advances to allow testing and analysis of changes in photosynthetic traits in both a forward and reverse direction which will inform both fundamental experiments and field testing. This programs leaders are Professors Graeme Hammer at The University of Queensland and Graham Farquhar at ANU.

Research in this program include:

Developing computational approaches to assess the effect of changes to photosynthetic properties on crop growth

Developing models which predict the effects of future climate change related to CO2, temperature and water inputs

Understanding the influence of leaf structural traits and their adaptation for use in altering photosynthetic performance

Linking phenotypic trait to gene in target crops wheat, rice and sorghum.