Browse Articles

Review Article|21 Feb 2023|OPEN
Feeding the world: impacts of elevated [CO2] on nutrient content of greenhouse grown fruit crops and options for future yield gains
Nicholas H. Doddrell1 , Tracy Lawson3 , Christine A. Raines3 , Carol Wagstaff2 and Andrew J. Simkin,1,4 ,
1NIAB, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ UK
2Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6DZ, UK
3School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 4SQ, UK
4School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom CT2 7NJ, UK
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad026 (2023)
Views: 292

Received: 18 Dec 2022
Accepted: 13 Feb 2023
Published online: 21 Feb 2023


Several long-term studies have provided strong support demonstrating that growing crops under elevated [CO2] can increase photosynthesis and result in an increase in yield, flavour and nutritional content (including but not limited to Vitamins C, E and pro-vitamin A). In the case of tomato, increases in yield by as much as 80% are observed when plants are cultivated at 1000 ppm [CO2], which is consistent with current commercial greenhouse production methods in the tomato fruit industry. These results provide a clear demonstration of the potential for elevating [CO2] for improving yield and quality in greenhouse crops. The major focus of this review is to bring together 50 years of observations evaluating the impact of elevated [CO2] on fruit yield and fruit nutritional quality. In the final section, we consider the need to engineer improvements to photosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation to allow plants to take greater advantage of elevated CO2 growth conditions.