Research Activity


The main mission of the genome breeding department at IBRC is to contribute to the improvement of crop production in Iwate Prefecture of Japan through basic researches. To this end, we are currently focusing  on three main research topics:

1. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction  between rice and blast that is one of the most distractive decease. Rice blast, caused by an ascomycete fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, is the most severe disease of rice throughout the world. We are analyzing rice-M. oryzae interaction.

Matsumura et al. (2006) Nature Methods 3: 469-474
Yoshida et al. (2009) Plant Cell 21: 1573-1591 
Saitoh et al. (2012) PLoS Pathogens 8: e102711 
Sharma et al. (2013) Plant J. 74: 701-712

 2. Developing breeding materials, as well as isolation and characterization of  novel genes controlling important traits in rice.

Abe et al. (2012) TAG 125:647-657.
Undan et al. (2012) Gene and Genetic Systems. 87: 169–179.
Tamiru et al. (2014) New Phytologist 202: 116-31.

3. Establishing novel methods for mapping and isolation of important genes and   QTLs by next generation sequencer for accelerated breeding of crops.

Abe et al. (2012) Nature Biotechnol. 30:174-8 
Fekih et al. (2013) PLoS One. 8:e68529
Takagi et al. (2013) Plant J. 74:174–83 
Takagi et al. (2013) New Phytol. 200:276–83

Our group conducts basic molecular biological researches on horticultural plants. The works cover several aspects of plant science/biotechnology such as gene cloning, metabolic engineering, molecular marker, pathology and diagnosis. Our main target is “Gentian” that is the most important ornamental flower in Iwate prefecture, Japan.

 Research Topics
1. Floral pigmentation in gentian
2. Flowering and dormancy in gentian
3. Genetic engineering of novel gentians 
4. Application of tissue culture and MAS in gentian breeding
5. Development of diagnoses and related techniques
6. Kobu-sho disease in gentian
7. Understanding of plant immunity


Metabolome analysis using Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (Q-TOF-MS)

Q-TOF-MS is a tool for the simultaneous determination of a few thousand of intracellular metabolites, including amino acids, organic acids, nucleotides, and sugars. The metabolome data obtained from this analyzer enables us to know several in vivo phenomena. The data can be also used for an evaluation of the important characteristics of agricultural and marine products such as tastes, nutrient amounts, colors, and functionalities.

In IBRC, metabolome method is used in the studies of rice, gentian, basidiomycete, and krill. Furthermore, to accelerate and enhance our studies, we create our own metabolite database and analysis software.

Molecular Breeding 

Plant Pathology

The aim of our department is the development of a new way to promote health using bioresources of Iwate Prefecture. We study the bioactivity of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries products of Iwate 
(e.g. Pacific Krill, Shiitake mushroom, and millet) by the methods of Molecular Biology, Chemical Biology, Physiology and Bioinformatics. 

We publish the results to promote the food industry in Iwate, and in this way we add higher value to agriculture, forestry and fisheries products. 

1.    We found that Pacific Krill has anti-obese effect, and revealed that anti-obese compound was  8-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (8-HEPE). We have studied a beneficial effect of 8-HEPE on metabolic syndrome.

2.    Breeding of shiitake (lentinule edodes) new strain that keeps lentinan          (immunomodulatoryβ-glucan) high content after harvesting.

3.    Variety of millet cultivars produced in Iwate Prefecture are investigated for finding    their healthy functions and active ingredients.


Administration office