Outline of Research and Education

Plant secondary metabolism (also called “specialized metabolism”) produces compounds having several bioactivities such as resistance factors against various environmental stresses in plants, as well as health benefits for humans. Secondary metabolites are widely diversified in their chemical structures in nature, since plants have adapted to environmental niches during long evolutionary periods using varied strategies such as gene duplication and convergent evolution of some key genes which contribute to chemical diversity. The Plant Secondary Metabolism Laboratory focuses on, i) the analysis of the natural diversity of secondary metabolites, and ii) the functional genomics approach for metabolic genes using translational analysis of omics studies (genomics, transcriptomics and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics). The specific goal is the identification of key factors of natural chemical diversity and regulatory roles in plant secondary metabolism which enable genome wide metabolic cross-species comparison for metabolic engineering of beneficial compounds.


Therefore our laboratory focuses on education and research in the functional characterization of key genes involved in creation of natural diversity of plant secondary metabolism. Translational analysis using omics studies is employed for our purpose enabling genome-wide modeling of biosynthetic framework for metabolic engineering. 


Plant metabolic diversity, functional genomics, bioactive compounds, cross species comparison, omics data integration, neo-functionalization, functional convergence and divergence. 


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8916-5 Takayama-cho, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, JAPAN

Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Graduate School of Science and Technology
Division of Biological Sciences
Plant Secondary Metabolism

Takayuki Tohge
E-mail: tohge@bs.naist.jp