Increasing demands for food and resources are challenging existing markets, driving a need to continually investigate and establish crop varieties with improved yields and health benefits. By the later part of the century, current estimates indicate that a >50% increase in the yield of most of the important food crops including wheat, rice and barley will be needed to maintain food supplies and improve nutritional quality to tackle what has become known as ‘hidden hunger’. Improving the nutritional quality of crops has become a target for providing the micronutrients required in remote communities where dietary variation is often limited. A number of methods to achieve this have been investigated over recent years, from improving photosynthesis through genetic engineering, to breeding new higher yielding varieties. Recent research has shown that growing plants under elevated [CO2
] can lead to an increase in Vitamin C due to changes in gene expression, demonstrating one potential route for plant biofortification. In this review, we discuss the current research being undertaken to improve photosynthesis and biofortify key crops to secure future food supplies and the potential links between improved photosynthesis and nutritional quality.
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