Photosynthesis is fundamental to biomass production, but is a dynamic process sensitive to environmental constraints. In recent years, approaches to increase biomass and grain yield by altering photosynthetically related processes in the plant have received considerable attention. However, improving biomass yield requires a predictive understanding of the molecular mechanisms that allow photosynthesis to be adjusted. The important roles of metabolic reactions external to those directly involved in photosynthesis are highlighted in this review; however, our major focus is on the routes taken to improve photosynthetic carbon assimilation and to increase photosynthetic efficiency and consequently biomass yield.

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