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THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO

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活動報告写真

Wataru Yamori
 

PLANT SCIENCE THAT CONNECTS THE LABORATORY & THE FIELD
We study the function of photosynthesis to clarify the mechanisms of crops’ environmental responses. Our goal is to improve productivity of the crops using physiological ecology and molecular physiology techniques.

<KEY WORDS>
crop production, photosynthesis, environmental response, plant factory, Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, lettuce, tomato, medicinal plant

(1) Elucidate the entire photosynthetic system

活動報告写真

Photosynthesis is a process to convert light energy into chemical energy, which is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars that are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water. We have already known the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and factors involved in the process. However, it is still unknown how these factors interact each other and which factor plays a major role to control the photosynthetic system under various environmental conditions. We are aiming to find out the whole processes in photosynthesis.


Previous Research Topics
・Mechanisms of temperature dependences of the temperature-photosynthesis curve
・New physiological functions of cyclic electron transport pathways in the photosynthesis
・Biochemical and stomatal limitation of the photosynthetic induction response under various environmental conditions and its ecological significance


(2) Cope with food shortages

活動報告写真

As plants cannot move, they must cope with diverse, highly dynamic, and unpredictable conditions at different times of a day and a year in natural environments (such at light intensity, temperature and humidity). For instance, light condition fluctuates depending on the weather as well as self- and mutual shading. Although plants have many kinds of physiological functions to acclimate and adapt to the various environmental conditions, these stresses suppress productivity of the crops.
We study the mechanism of environmental responses of photosynthesis using wild and mutant plants of Arabidopsis thaliana, rice and tabaco. In addition to the basic research, we conduct applied research about enhancing photosynthesis and crop production under various environmental conditions. These applied researches can help find a way to supply crops constantly and to solve food shortages, as well as to suppress the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are the most important topics to work on.

Previous Research Topics
・Elucidation of a mechanism of dynamic photosynthetic response to fluctuating light environments
・New mechanism of plants to acclimate to high temperature
・Identification of the chemical substances that control plants’ photosynthetic systems and water use efficiency and analysis of its mechanism


(3) Develop cultivating systems in plant factories

活動報告写真

Improving crop yield is one of the most important topics in plant sciences, since the rapid global population growth and environmental changes result in the acute shortage of food. Therefore, one of our research goals is to supply grain and crops stably. As the first step, we develop the plant factory that is environmentally friendly and has stable productivity.
Plant factory is a futuristic agricultural system that automatically controls cultivation environment such as light, temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration, and supply of water and fertilizers. As plants are cultivated systematically from sowing to shipping, plant factories can produce high-quality crops faster than conventional agriculture.

Previous Research Topics
・Development of a new cultivation system that inhibit leaf senescence by upward lighting
・Increase of anti-Alzheimer's substances in medicinal plants using plant factory techniques
・Improvement of yield and quality of tomatoes by supplemental LED lighting at night and under cloudy conditions

We promote collaborative research. Please contact us anytime!!


RECRUITMENT

We are always welcoming new members who are interested in solving food and environmental problems.

活動報告写真

There are several ways to join us.

1. 4th year undergraduate students
Students from Major in Applied Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo can choose our lab to conduct a graduation thesis project.
Major in Applied Biology

2. Graduate students
Apply for the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology
Graduate Admission

3. Research students

4. Post-doc
Research Fellowship for Young Scientists, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science We will support you making a research plan and writing the application form. Please contact us if you are interested.

ALUMNI’S CAREER

High school teacher; government worker; School of Science, The University of Tokyo; Assistant Professor at Yangtze Normal University (China); Assistant Professor at Shandong Agricultural University (China); Research fellow at Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (Ethiopia); Lecturer at Jiangsu Vocational College of Agriculture and Forestry (China)

THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO

〒188-0002
Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, 1-1-1 Midori-cho, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan
<Access to the LAB>

yamori(a)g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp