Research Core for Future Crops

The objectives of this core are to exploit new research topics that are expected to be important in the near future and to advance future-oriented studies in plant stress science. Collaboration with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya, Eastern Africa) will be promoted towards an ultimate goal to enable crop production under stressful conditions.

Ecophysiology Research Team

Rhizosphere Ecology (2017-current)

This team is a cross-disciplinary team established in 2017. In the institute fields, double cropping of rice and barley is repeated every year, with and without fertilizer. Taking advantage of these conditions, we are monitoring growth of crops, transitions of ions from soil to plants, rhizosphere microflora, and co-existence of crop and wild plants throughout the year, and explore the ecological relationships that exist between them.

Associate Professor: Akio Tani, team leader, serving concurrently

Crop Functional Innovation Research Team

Barley Genetic Modification (2017-current)

This research team was organized in July 2017 with the mission of “Upgrading barley genetic modification technology and related basic technologies” and “Organizing a joint research for crop innovation using barley“. We are consolidating a joint research system in various fields such as barley transformation technology, barley-microbe interaction, seed starch engineering, environmental stress science/resistant breeding, and contribute to the development of plant science and resources.

Professor: Hiroshi Hisano  team leader, serving concurrently

Crop Design Research Team

Crop Design (2015 – March 2021)

Our team was launched in November 2015 based on the agreement for cross-appointment between Okayama University and RIKEN Institute. Taking advantage of genetic resources in IPSR and integrating a broad range of data and knowledge related to the physiological responses of the plant, our group aims to accelerate discovery of genes that contribute to higher crop productivity. It is essential to understand interactions of genes and environmental changes in plants under field conditions. Our team has been promoting the research to elucidate physiological states transitions of crops throughout their life cycle in field conditions by integration of various comprehensive analytical techniques. We also have been promoting the development of analytical methodologies to computationally predict agronomic traits of crops by using field data.

Specially Appointed Professor: Keiichi Mochida
Professor: Takashi Hirayama (adjunctive)

International Collaboration Team

Understanding how plants respond and acclimate themselves to various biotic and abiotic stress conditions is useful to generate future crops endowed with ‘stress resistance’. However, the application of stress-resistant crops must be conducted from a global standpoint, which necessitates international collaboration in a timely and strategic manner. Currently, this group aims to develop a research network in east Africa, in collaboration with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya and Makerere University in Uganda. Through this research network, our institute accepts graduate students and researchers, who conduct various projects in disciplines related to plant stress science. The group also organizes international meetings, both domestically and abroad, to accelerate networking.

Joint research with Kenya (Fiscal year 2020–2021):
Professor: Wataru Sakamoto, team leader, serving concurrently

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