LSU Biologist Invited to Gates Foundation Photosynthesis Workshop

02/22/2012 04:28 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU Biology Chair and Glenda Wooters Streva Alumni Professor James Moroney was one of 13 scientists invited to a workshop sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to share their views on how photosynthesis research may positively impact agricultural productivity. These discussions will help to educate the Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development program about future projects to support increased sustainable productivity of small holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working to bridge the gap between basic research and getting improved crops to farmers,” said Moroney. “I am very excited to have been a part of that discussion.”

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people acquire food and income from farming small plots of land, often contending with difficult conditions including unproductive soil, drought, pests and disease.

The goal of the Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development program is to reduce hunger and poverty for millions of poor farm families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Moroney, along with a team of nationally-renowned scientists, came together to discuss ways to help guide future Gates Foundation investments in photosynthesis research and to propose how such research could help small farmers improve their productivity and nutrition.

The two-day workshop entitled, Exploring New Opportunities to Improve Photosynthesis, convened January 9-10 in Seattle, Wash. Discussion topics included CO2 concentrating mechanisms, enhancing enzymes for carbon fixation, modeling for increased photosynthesis, reducing photorespiration, enhancing light capture efficiency and optimizing photoprotection.

For more information about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation agricultural strategy, go to  

Ashley  Berthelot 
LSU Research Communications

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012