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) Shibasaka, M., Horie, T. and Katsuhara, M. Mechanisms activating latent functions of PIP aquaporin water channels via the interaction between PIP1 and PIP2 proteins. Plant Cell Physiol. 62: 92-99. (2021.1.)
(2) Kodama, A., Watanabe, T., Yamaguchi, M., Narita, R., Katsuhara, M., Sato, K., Ookawa, T. and Hirasawa, T. Accession difference in leaf photosynthesis, root hydraulic conductance and gene expression of root aquaporins under salt stress in barley seedlings. Plant Prod. Sci. 24: 73-82. (2021. 2.)
(3) 且原真木 植物のアクアポリン. 脳神経内科 94: 635-641. (2021. 5.)
(4) Tazawa, M., Katsuhara, M. and Wayne, R. Age dependence of the hydraulic resistances of the plasma membrane and the tonoplast (vacuolar membrane) in cells of Chara corallina. Protoplasma 258: 793-801. (2021. 6.)
(5) Imran, S., Tsuchiya, Y., Tran, S. T. H. and Katsuhara, M. Identification and characterization of rice OsHKT1;3 Variants. Plants 10: 2006. doi:10.3390/plants10102006 (2021. 9.)
(6) Tsuchiya, Y., Nakamura, T., Izumi, Y., Okazaki, K., Shinano, T., Kubo, Y., Katsuhara, M., Sasaki, T. and Yamamoto, Y. Physiological Role of Aerobic Fermentation Constitutively Expressed in an Aluminum-Tolerant Cell Line of Tobacco(Nicotiana tabacum). Plant Cell Physiol. 62: 1460-1477. (2021. 9.)

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