Plant genomics

It has become possible to conduct genomic research not only on model plants but also on plants producing useful materials, such as medicine, functional chemicals, and industrial materials by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. To adopt this paradigm shift, new strategies which enable us to manage vast amount of genomic data should be developed.

Plant potential

One of our goals is to elucidate molecular mechanisms of plants’ productivities of phytochemicals using genomics and metabolomics. Plants have evolved their abilities to produce various specialized metabolites to correspond biotic and abiotic stresses. This potential abilities to produce useful chemicals can be applied to industry by biotechnology.

Plant growth regulation

To address global issues, such as food security, starvation and desertification, technologies for plant growth regulation are necessary. Plants utilize various molecules to correspond changing environment. Interaction with surrounding organisms also affect their growth and development. We are focusing on biochemical and molecular interaction between plants and symbiotic or parasitic organisms to develop molecular tools for plant growth regulation.

Research Theme

Enhancement of useful plant metabolite production by UV-LED

Plants evolutionally acquired UV tolerance mechanisms to adapt their life on land. One of the adaptations is the ability to synthesize phenolic metabolites which absorb UV. Some phenolic metabolites in plants are useful compounds for humans because of their physiological activities such as antioxidant effects. We’re trying to understand how UV induces the biosynthesis of the phenolic metabolites and utilize the mechanism to enhance the production of phenolic metabolites in plants.

Development of smart cells for production of useful metabolites

Many plants contain useful secondary (specialized) metabolites for human health maintenance and promotion. Recently, advanced biotechnology and diverse genomic information enable plants to produce various kinds of metabolites. On the other hand, it is becoming clearer that those highly bioactive metabolites are isolated in specific organs or organella. We are trying to develop smart cells for production of useful metabolites by increase of compartments in which metabolites can be accumulated.

Lipid metabolism in Euglena

Euglena is known as a charactristic organism having photosynthesizing chloroplasts together with flagella which enable them to move. A unique polysaccharide, palamyron, is accumulated as a storage of fixed carbon in Euglena under aerobic conditions. On the other hand, wax esters are synthesized throught the metabolism of palamyron under anaerobic conditions. In this project, wax ester metabolism is analyzed by lipidomics under various conditions to reveal key factors regulating wax ester biosynthesis in Euglena.

Development of novel control methods for parasitic weeds

Root parasitic weeds cause immense damage to arid and semi-arid agriculture, especially in Africa. An effective control method for parasitic weeds is desirable. We are trying to elucidate biological processes existing only in the parasitic weeds, that could be potential targets for control. Additionally, we are trying to understand the precise molecular mechanisms of parasite resistant in some plant species. Those information could be applied to develop parasite resistant crops.

Career after Graduation

Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University; Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University; Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University; Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology; Criminal Investigation Laboratory, Metropolitan Police Department; Criminal Investigation Laboratory, Chiba Prefectural Police Headquarters; National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations; Jonan Gakuin High School; Otsuka Chemical Co., Ltd.; HOKKO CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD.; Fujimoto Chemicals Co., Ltd.; Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.; AstraZeneca K.K.; Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd.; Pfizer Japan Inc.; Bankyo Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Seiko Eiyo Yakuhin Co., Ltd.; Ominedo Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd.; CAC Croit Corp.; SYSMEX CORPORATION; JASCO Corporation; The Procter&Gamble Company of Japan, Ltd.; Kao Corporation; TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC.; TOYOBO CO., LTD.; Fuji Oil Co., Ltd.; San-Ei Gen F.F.I., Inc.; Fujiya Co., Ltd.; Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd.; DSP GOKYO FOOD & CHEMICAL Co., Ltd.; Ajinomoto Healthy Supply Co., Inc.; ASEED BREW Co., Ltd.; CLUB cosmetics Co., Ltd.; Naris Cosmetics Co., Ltd.; NUMBER THREE INC.; Pias Corp.; Milliona Cosmetics Co., Ltd.; Dentsu Digital Inc.; Hitachi Systems, Ltd.; HANKYU OASIS Co., Ltd.; NISHIMATSUYA CHAIN Co., Ltd.; UTAX Co., Ltd.; MIYAWAKI KOKAN Co., Ltd.