Food for the future demands radical agriculture: the C4 rice challenge

Discovered 50 years ago in Australia, C4 Photosynthesis is one of the most efficient ways plants transform sunlight into food. The C4 Rice Project is one of the scientific 'Grand Challenges' of the 21st Century. Due to predicted population increases and a general trend towards urbanization, land that provided enough rice to feed 27 people in 2010 will need to support 43 by 2050. Introduction of 'C4' traits into rice is predicted to increase photosynthetic efficiency by 50%, improve nitrogen use efficiency and double water use efficiency. The project therefore represents one of the most plausible approaches to enhancing crop yield and increasing resilience in the face of reduced land area, decreased use of fertilizers and less predictable supplies of water. Professor Jane Langdale will present the progress towards achieving this goal  (

About the speaker:

Jane Langdale is Professor of Plant Development in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford. Her research focusses on understanding the genetic mechanisms that underpin how leaves develop and how they evolved ( She is currently co-ordinator of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded C4 Rice Project ( She is an elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Professor Langdale is visiting Australia in April 2018, on a CSIRO McMaster Fellowship and co-sponsored by CoE in Translational Photosynthesis.

Presented by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis and CSIRO.