Evolution of a biochemical model of steady‐state photosynthesis

Xinyou Yin, Florian A. Busch, Paul C. Struik, Thomas D. Sharkey

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On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the publication of the landmark model by Farquhar, von Caemmerer & Berry on steady‐state C3 photosynthesis (known as the “FvCB model”), we review three major further developments of the model. These include: (1) limitation by triose phosphate utilisation, (2) alternative electron transport pathways, and (3) photorespiration‐associated nitrogen and C1 metabolisms. We discussed the relation of the third extension with the two other extensions, and some equivalent extensions to model C4 photosynthesis. In addition, the FvCB model has been coupled with CO2‐diffusion models. We review how these extensions and integration have broadened the use of the FvCB model in understanding photosynthesis, especially with regard to bioenergetic stoichiometries associated with photosynthetic quantum yields. Based on the new insights, we present caveats in applying the FvCB model. Further research needs are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2811-2837
Number of pages27
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number9
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Plant, Cell & Environment published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • (alternative) electron transport
  • mesophyll conductance
  • NADPH‐ATP balance
  • nitrogen assimilation
  • photorespiration
  • quantum yield
  • re‐assimilation
  • stoichiometry
  • triose phosphate utilisation


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