Standard Article


  1. Archie R Portis Jr1,
  2. Martin AJ Parry2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001293.pub2



How to Cite

Portis, A. R. and Parry, M. A. 2009. Rubisco. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    USDA/ARS University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA

  2. 2

    Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2009


Rubisco, formally known as ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase/oxygenase, is the chloroplast enzyme that assimilates atmospheric carbon dioxide during photosynthesis by combining it with RuBP to form two molecules of phosphoglycerate. However, Rubisco allows oxygen to react with RuBP in addition to carbon dioxide, producing phosphoglycolate, and thereby also initiates the process known as photorespiration. Genetic modification to overcome the limitations of Rubisco would have great agronomic importance.


  • photosynthesis;
  • photorespiration;
  • chloroplast