Technology Area

Biotechnology

Outline of the area


Akihiko Kondo
Professor, Kobe University

From the view point of energy-saving such as carbon neutral and bioprocess with the advanced technologies in various domains of biotechnology, we are contributing to a large reduction of GHG emission. Specifically, we cover the research and development of carbon fixation technology by biomass plant breeding, biomass conversion technology, direct conversion technology of CO2, and other conversion technologies of various organic resources.

We also promote the interdisciplinary research and development based on microbial science, plant science and bioprocessing science, which goes beyond the conventional framework.

2014

Artificial Control of Cytoplasmic Streaming as a Platform System for Plant Biomass Enhancement

Motoki Tominaga
Assistant Professor, Waseda University

An intracellular transport called “cytoplasmic streaming” occurs in the cell of every plant. We have shown that artificial increase in the velocity of myosin enhanced the plant size of Arabidopsis concomitant with the acceleration of the cytoplasmic streaming.
The purpose of this project is development of a platform system for biomass enhancement through increasing myosin velocity further and applying it not only to Arabidopsis but to rice.

2014

Methane/Methanol Conversion by an Innovative Bioprocess Using Gas Phase Microbial Reaction

Katsutoshi Hori
Full Professor, Nagoya University

The targets of this study are low grade methane emitted from wastewater treatment facilities and landfills and organic waste that potentially produces methane amounting to 1/9 of the used amount of natural gas. We will synthesize microbial cells with high methanol productivity through metabolic engineering, immobilize them in a high density by an original method using an adhesive protein, construct a gas-phase process without babbling and stirring, and convert methane into methanol, which is important as fuel and a hub chemical.

2013

Genetic Engineering of Cyanobacterial Transcriptional Regulators and Circadian Clocks for Succinate Production

Takashi Osanai
Assistant professor, Meiji University

Bio-based succinate is a promising feedstock for the substitution of fossil fuels. Cyanobacteria are a group of bacteria performing oxygenic photosynthesis. In this study, we perform genetic engineering of cyanobacterial transcriptional regulators and circadian clocks for succinate production. Metabolomic approaches are important for clarifying the metabolic status of cyanobacteria to improve the productivity of succinate.

2013

Multidimensional Improvement of Plant Biomass Productivity Based on Artificially Induced Heterosis Technology

Keiichi Mochida
Team Leader, RIKEN

In plants, interspecies hybridization and polyproidization of genomes often produce “hybrid” species with wider adoptability and a greater potential than parents. Our aim is understanding molecular mechanisms of hybrid vigor in plants by combinatorial approaches of computational biology and genome biology. Then, we will apply the molecular basis of hybrid vigor to develop “artificially induced heterosis technology” to improve plant productivity. Using the technology, we would improve plant biomass productivity, and contribute to resource and energy developments to reduce CO2 emission.

2012

Development of Novel Crop Protection Technology which Can Confer Durable Disease Resistance to Various Crop Species

Yoshiteru Noutoshi
Associate Professor, Okayama University

Reduction of crop yield losses by diseases can greatly contribute to increase biomass production. In this study, small cyclic peptides which prime plant immunity will be identified by the original high-throughput screening method. Then, a methodology will also be developed which can synthesize the bioactive cyclic peptides inside plants to upregulate immunity. This novel crop protection technology is applicable to various crops and cannot be overcome by drug-resistance microbes, and thus it can confer durable disease resistance to broad range of pathogens. It is an alternative way which can complement agrochemicals and breeding.

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