Plant Biology

Our scientific interests are centered around how plant cells acquire specialized functions and how they cooperatively regulate plant growth and life cycle. We are working to address these problems using molecular genetics, live imaging techniques, and computational tools. Our research is important not only to solve fundamental questions in basic biology, but also to gain the knowledge required for food and energy security.


  1. Plant growth dynamics in response to environmental stimuli
  2. Unique function of the root cap as a soil environment sensor
  3. Evolution of sexual reproduction systems in land plants
A variety of initiatives are underway to build a sustainable society. In this context, expectations for the improvement of productivity and effective utilization of plant-derived biomass, such as wood, have been increasing. In the Laboratory of Plant Metabolic Control, we are mainly interested in the mechanisms, physical properties, and mechanical properties of woody biomass production control and their practical applications to plants and structural buildings.


  1. Molecular mechanisms governing xylem cell differentiation
  2. Mechanism of plant mechanical optimization system
  3. Molecular mechanism of the endomembrane trafficking underlying plant cell wall formation.

Plant Growth Regulation

Masaaki Umeda

Plants continuously grow under fluctuating environments and produce organs throughout their life. We aim to understand the mechanisms that control organ size and stress response, and to develop novel technologies for increasing plant biomass, thereby contributing to increasing carbon dioxide absorption and solving food and environmental problems.


  1. Maintenance and replenishment of plant stem cells
  2. Plant growth regulation in response to abiotic stress
  3. Mechanisms for induction of DNA polyploidization
Making Nara Institute of Science and Technology the center of flower development research in Japan!
The grains and fruits that we eat every day are all the products of flowers. Let's cherish the spirit of feeling the wonder of nature, and together, let's send out into the world the most interesting and useful results of flower research.


  1. Proliferation, differentiation and senescence of floral stem cells
  2. Environmental response, memory and forgetting in plants
  3. Epigenetic regulation in sexual reproduction

Plant Physiology

Motomu Endo

Do you know how plants measure time and seasons? Would you like to know?
In addition to understanding how plants measure time and seasons, you will also discover how they use such information to thrive.


  1. Dissection of circadian clock functions on an organ, tissue and cellular level
  2. Understanding and control of photoperiodic flowering via the circadian clock
  3. New technologies for high spatiotemporal analysis

Plant Immunity

Yusuke Saijo

Plants need to protect themselves from pathogens while adapting to changing environments with the help of mutualistic microbes. We will elucidate the plant immune system making this possible and the infection strategies of microbes that have co-evolved with this system. We will also utilize our research outcomes in promoting environment-friendly agriculture.


  1. Danger sensing and signaling in plant immunity
  2. Plant-microbe-environment interactions
  3. Plant-associated microbiomes

Plant Symbiosis

Satoko Yoshida

Prof.Yoshida Satoko
Parasitic plants cause significant agricultural damage in several parts of the world. We aim to reduce agricultural damage caused by parasitic plants by elucidating the molecular mechanisms of parasitism via genetic studies using model parasitic plants and cell biological research methods. We also study the interactions of plants with other disease organisms and symbiotic microorganisms. We welcome people who want to study the mysteries of living things.


  1. Identification of genes involved in haustorium formation
  2. Plant-plant communication via small-molecular weight compounds
  3. Comparative genomics of parasitic plants
What are the mechanisms by which plants produce various metabolites? We are conducting research to identify the genes involved in the diversity of plant secondary metabolites widely distributed in nature and to elucidate their functions.


  1. Functional genomics approach by omics-based translational analysis
  2. Cross species comparison of the neo-functionalized genomic region
  3. Regulation of metabolic networks during nutritional stresses
Why can plants readily regenerate their bodies upon injury? We pursue the secrets of plants’ regenerative capacity using molecular genetics, live imaging and single cell transcriptome analyses. If you are passionate about developmental biology and like new challenges, we are here for you!


  1. Mechanisms of tissue repair and grafting
  2. Developmental mechanisms underlying shoot regeneration