Photosynthesis is one of the most complicated and important processes, being responsible for the kick-starting of the Earth’s food chain. At this time, the scientists are still discovering the purpose of proteins that can be engineered to increase yield, as they proved with the occasion of a recently-published paper. They uncovered secretes about another protein, namely CP12, as the full understanding of it may be able to provide an additional route to boost yields in the future.

There are three forms of the protein CP12 that regulate the enzymes CAPDH and PRK. CP12 is an important component because it helps plants respond to changing light levels, in the instance when the plant is shaded by a leaf or cloud. CP12 eventually stops the activity of the enzymes within seconds, but, without CP12, it will eventually take several minutes to slow the activity, costing the energy of the plant.

According to the findings of the scientists, not all CP12 enzymes are created equal, as it turns out that CP12-3 is not part of the process, whereas CP12-1 and CP12-2 are in charge and can cover for one another. However, if all three are eliminated, the plant will not be able to efficiently photosynthesize, resulting in a drastically smaller plant, with fewer and smaller seeds.

In the absence of the CP12 to hold the reins, the PRK also disappears, being vital to the process of development of the plant, providing raw materials for the enzymes in order to turn them into carbohydrates, being the sugars used by the plants to grow bigger and produce more yield.