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  1. Rubisco catalyses the first step in carbon fixation and is a strategic target to improve photosynthetic efficiency. In plants, Rubisco is composed of eight large and eight small subunits and its biogenesis requires multiple chaperones. We optimised a system to produce tobacco Rubisco in Escherichia coli by co-expressing chaperones in auto-induction medium. We successfully assembled tobacco Rubisco in E. coli with each small subunit that is normally encoded by the nuclear genome. Even though each enzyme carries only a single type of small subunit in E. coli, the enzymes exhibit carboxylation kinetics very similar to that of the native Rubisco. Tobacco Rubisco assembled with a recently discovered trichome small subunit has a higher catalytic rate and a lower CO2 affinity than those assembled with other small subunits. Our E. coli expression system will allow probing of features of both subunits of Rubisco that affect its kinetic properties. 
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