CAM modes provide environment-specific water-saving benefits in a leaf metabolic model

Several plant lineages living in arid environments have evolved crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis, a water-saving mode of carbon fixation in which CO2 uptake and CO2 fixation are temporally separated. Researchers from IPK Gatersleben and the University of Oxford tested whether full CAM is also necessarily the best solution for C3 crops grown in temperate environments and attempted to identify alternative metabolic modes that best balance the trade-off between water loss and photosynthetic productivity under a range of environments.