[Robustness in Plants] Creation of fundamental technologies contribute to the elucidation and application for the robustness in plants against environmental changes

※ Affiliations and titles are as of the end of the research activity.

Strategic Objective

Establishment of environmentally-adaptive-plant design systems for stable food supply in the age of climate change

Research Supervisor

photo: Satoshi Tabata
Satoshi Tabata (Director and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Kazusa DNA Research Institute)


This area promote research on establishment of the technology for designing useful plants from the molecular level on up, based on a comprehensive understanding of the environmental response mechanism of plants in the field. Specifically, the properties of plants responding robustly to environmental fluctuations will be quantitatively determined, and then new technologies enabling artificia control of growth and functions will be established. From the standpoint of exit strategies, the primary emphasis is on economic plants as experimental material, and efforts will be focused on identifying function markers, DNA markers and other biomarkers for developing new plants.
Specific research and development activities should keep in mind the ultimate aim of applying the knowledge gained at the molecular level up to the level of field environments. Activities will be conducted in the following three categories:
1)Highly precise quantitative analysis of the environmental response mechanisms of plants
2)Modeling of plant environmental response mechanisms
3)Evaluation of the plant characters modified by sophisticated reconstruction of genes or genotype
The promotion of research in this area will require making a quantitative understanding of the diverse functions of plants, analyzing large-scale data of different types, and building and verifying models. Accordingly, we encourage the participation of researchers in many fields in addition to plant physiology, such as breeding, ecology, statistics, information science and engineering. In addition, collaboration among different fields will be promoted through comprehensive management of the research area that encompasses these fields. Furthermore, in order to maximize achievements in accordance with the strategic objective, the management of this research area will also be coordinated with the PRESTO (Sakigake) “Creation of Next-generation fundamental technologies for the control of biological phenomena in field-grown plants” and ” Innovational technical basis for cultivation in cooperation with information science” research areas.

Research Area Advisors

・Motoyuki Ashikari
Professor, Nagoya University

・Takashi Ito
Professor, Kyushu University

・Hiroyuki Ohta
Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology

・Shun-ichi Kaneko
Emeritus Professor, Hokkaido University

・Hisanori Kiryu
Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo

・Takako Sakai
Deputy CEO, MikadoKyowaSeed

・Kazuhiro Sato
Professor, Okayama University

・Toshihisa Takagi
President, Toyama University of International Studies

・Yoshikazu Tanaka
General Manager, Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd.

・Hiroyuki Fukuoka
Deputy General Manager, Takii & Company, Limited

Year Started : 2015

Field epigenetics: Basis of robustness in the plant response under fluctuating environments

Research Director:
Hiroshi Kudoh(Professor, Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University)

Integrative transcriptome modeling under field and controlled environments

Research Director:
Atsushi J. Nagano(Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)

Development of in vivo analysis system to evaluate suppression activity of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production: Early diagnosis of oxidative stress in plants

Research Director:
Chikahiro Miyake(Professor, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kobe University)

Development of plant growth estimation technologies combined with robust field monitors and micro-fluidic model simulating plant vascular system

Research Director:
Ryo Miyake(Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)

Modeling of plant growth control in response to nutrients in the fields

Research Director:
Shuichi Yanagisawa(Professor, Biotechnology Research Center, The University of Tokyo)

Year Started : 2016

A novel approach for plant growth modeling based on comprehensive genome-environment interactions using large-scale digital images

Research Director:
Ryo Akashi(Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki)

Development of an advanced genomic selection system based on plant-environment response modelling

Research Director:
Hiroyoshi Iwata(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo)

Constructing models to confer environmental robustness by developing multiomics technology of polyploid species

Research Director:
Kentaro Shimizu(Guest Professor, Kihara Institute of Biological Research, YokohamaCity University)

Data driven crop design technology

Research Director:
Takashi Hirayama(Professor, Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University)

Year Started : 2017

Development of climate-resilient crops by employing ROOTomics

Research Director:
Yusaku Uga (Leader, Division of Crop Design Research, Institute of Crop Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization)

Elucidation of rhizosphere chemical world for the regulation of crop robustness

Research Director:
Akifumi Sugiyama (Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University)

A hybrid model for genotype design and simulation toward the crop robustness against environmental changes

Research Director:
Hiroshi Nakagawa (Administrator for Research Manegement, Core Technology Research Headquaters, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization)

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