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.

(1) Tazawa, M., Katsuhara, M., Wayne, R. Calcium Control of the Hydraulic Resistances in Cells of Chara corallina. Protoplasma 260: 299-306. (2023. 1.)
(2) Morita, S., Tamba, N., Shibasaka, M., Sasano, S., Kadoike, T., Urase, Y., Maruyama, M., Fukuoka, A., Yanai, J., Masumura, T., Ogihara, Y., Satoh, S., Tanaka, K., Katsuhara, M., Nakayama, H. In planta evidence that the HAK transporter OsHAK2 is involved in Na+ transport in rice. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 87: 482-490. (2023. 4.)
(3) 且原真木・松波麻耶 根っこはどうやって水を吸収するの.根っこってなんだろう?( 中野明正 監修) pp. 10-11. ISBN: 978-4-580-82597-0 (2023. 8.)

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