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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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) Rhee, J., Horie, T., Sasano, S., Nakahara, Y. and Katsuhara, M. Identification of an H2O2 permeable PIP aquaporin in barley and a serine residue promoting H2O2 transport. Physiologia Plantarum 159: 120-128. (2017. 1.)
(2) Kariya, K., Sameeullah, M., Sasaki, T. and Yamamoto, Y. Overexpression of the sucrose transporter gene NtSUT1 alleviates aluminum-induced inhibition of root elongation in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 63: 45-54. (2017. 2.)
(3) Takanashi, K., Yamada, Y., Sasaki, T., Yamamoto, Y., Sato, F. and Yazaki, K. A multidrug and toxic compound extrusion transporter mediates berberine accumulation into vacuoles in Coptis japonica. Phytochemistry 138: 76-82. (2017. 6.)
(4) Kariya, K., Tsuchiya, Y., Sasaki, T. and Yamamoto, Y. Aluminium-induced cell death requires upregulation of NtVPE1 gene coding vacuolar processing enzyme in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). J. Inorg. Biochem. (2017. 9. Online preview)