Evolution of C4 photosynthetic genes and overexpression of maize C4 genes in rice

Makoto Matsuoka, Mika Nomura, Sakae Agarie, Mitsue Miyao-Tokutomi, Maurice S.B. Ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


C3 plants including many agronomically important crops exhibit a lower photosynthetic efficiency due to inhibition of photosynthesis by Oa and the associated photorespiration. C4 plants had evolved the C4 pathway to overcome low CO2 and photorespiration. This review first focuses on the generation of a system for high level expression of the C4-specific gene for pyruvate, orthophosphate dikinase (Pdk), one of the key enzyme in C4 photosynthesis. Based on the results with transgenic rice plants, we have demonstrated that the regulatory system controlling the Pdk expression in maize is not unique to C4 plants but rice (C3 plant) posses a similar system. Second, we discuss the possibility of the high level expression of maize C4-specific genes in transgenic rice plants. Introduction of the maize intact phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene (Ppc) caused 30-100 fold higher PEPC activities than non-transgenic rice. These results demonstrated that intact C4-type genes are available for high level expression of C4 enzymes in rice plants. Key words: C4 photosynthesis - Gene evolution -Gene expression - Pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase -Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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