Group of Plant Molecular Physiology

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Faculty staff


Professor Dr. Maki KATSUHARA
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Takayuki SASAKI
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Assist. Prof. Dr. Shigeko UTSUGI
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Lectures: Physiology of Environmental Responses, Plant Physiology and Function
Keywords: Aquaporins; Salt stress; Water transport; Aluminum stress; Malate transporter; Acidic soil

Summary of main research topics

Physiological and molecular analysis of plant membrane transporters
We study the molecular functions of plant cells and biomembranes in response to drought and salt stress environments, especially water channels (aquaporins) and cation channels. In addition to water transport, we are investigating another aquaporin function transporting low molecular-weight compounds including CO2. Electrophysiological measurements are also conducted to analyze sodium and potassium transporters in a salt stress condition.
We cloned the aluminum-tolerant wheat gene ALMT1, which is a highly promising gene to confer acid-soil tolerance on crops. The ALMT1 gene belongs to the ALMT gene family, which has been found only in the plant kingdom. We expect to elucidate unique plant functions coded by individual ALMT genes.

Latest publications (for complete and most current publications visit group pages)

(1) Maruyama, H., Sasaki, T., Yamamoto, Y. and Wasaki, J. AtALMT3 is involved in malate efflux induced by phosphorus deficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana root hairs. Plant Cell Physiol. 60: 107-115. (2019. 1.)
(2) Tyerman, S.D., Munns, R., Fricke, W., Arsova, B., Bose, J., Bramley, H., Byrt, C., Chen, Z., Colmer, T.D., Cuin, T., Day, D.A., Foster, K.J., Gilliham, M., Henderson, S.W., Horie, T., Jenkins, C.L.D., Kaiser, B.N., Katsuhara, M., Plett, D., Miklavcic, S.J., Roy, S.J., Rubio, F., Shabala, S., Shelden, M., Soole, K., Taylor, N.L., Tester, M., Watt, M., Wege, S., Wegner, L.H. and Wen, Z. Energy costs of salinity tolerance in crop plants. New Phytologist 221: 25-29. (2019. 1.)
(3) Tada., Y. Hirai, M., Sato, M., Sawada, Y., Ozaki, S., Terashima, S., Okamoto, M., Kurusu, T., Endo, C., Kawano, R., Nishimura, H., Katsuhara, M., Yano, K. and Komatsubara, S. Functional screening of salt tolerance genes from a halophyte Sporobolus virginicus and transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of salt tolerant plants expressing glycine-rich RNA-binding protein. Plant Science 278: 54-63. (2019. 1.)
(4) Tada, Y., Endo, C., Katsuhara, M., Horie T., Shibasaka, M., Nakahara, Y. and Kurusu, T. High-affinity K+ transporters from a halophyte, Sporobolus virginicus, mediate both K+ and Na+ transport in transgenic Arabidopsis, X. laevis oocytes, and yeast. Plant Cell Physiology 60: 176-187. (2019. 1.)
(5) Seldimirova, O.A., Kudoyarova, G.R., Katsuhara, M., Galin, I.R., Zaitsev, D.Y., Kruglova, N.N., Veselov, D.S. and Veselov, S.Y. Dynamics of the contents and distribution of ABA, auxins and aquaporins in developing caryopses of an ABA-deficient barley mutant and its parental cultivar. Seed Science Research 29: 261-269. (2019. 12.)
(6) Imran, S., Horie, T. and Katsuhara, M. Expression and Ion Transport Activity of Rice OsHKT1;1 Variants. Plants (2019. 12. Online preview)