Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Ecological Dynamics


Symbiosis Genomics

Symbiosis Genomics

    Inspired by Prof. Hitoshi Kihara’s word, “The History of all Organisms is inscribed in the Chromosomes“, we are trying to understand the history of organisms inscribed in genome information. The research targets are plant-microbe interaction, based on “symbiosis” in the narrow sense, and environmental interaction, based on “symbiosis” in the broad sense. We are aiming to explore complex interrelated network of organisms and the surrounding environments by using genomics approaches.

Research Overview

    In our laboratory, we cover the research topics from resource development to application of these resources. As a blanch of NBRP Lotus/Glycine, we provide the information resources applicable to legume study to the research community. We also utilize these resources to elucidate the mechanisms of regulation of microbial community by host plant. In addition, we apply metagenome and network analyses to trace the dynamics of host microbe interactions.
    In the topic of environmental interaction, we applied one of the NBRP resources, wild accessions of Lotus japonicus, which have been able to adapt to diverse Japanese climates ranging from subtropical to temperate. Based on the phenotype data on field experiments along with genome re-sequencing, we could identify genomic regions areas associated with plant winter survival and flowering, where extreme genetic differentiation were identified in the accessions adapted to cold climates. By applying population genomics approach using wild accessions of L. japonicus and research collections of soybean germlines, we extended our efforts to identify genetic variants with genotype-by-environment interaction effects.

Faculty Members

Professor SATO Shusei
  • Structural and comparative genome analysis of plant and plant-associated microbes
  • Analysis of environmental adaptation and plant-microbe interactions applying wild accessions.
Associate Professor MITSUI Hisayuki
  • Adaptive mechanism of stress tolerance in alphaproteobacteria
  • Molecular interaction between rhizobia and leguminous plants