Toward durable crop protection technology

Plant diseases cause great reduction of annual global crop yield. Such loss is equivalent to food for multibillion people. Since major crops contain a large amount of sugars and lipids, they are superior resources for biofuels as well. To derease global warming gas, utilization of bioethanol and biodiesel is getting increased. As a result, supplies of food and feeding stuffs are decreasing and its reflect their costs.
Plant pathology and plant immunology aim to understanding plant-microbe interaction through the studies regarding molecular mechanisms of pathogen virulence and host immunity. Thus, it directly links to disease control in agricultural fields. As described above, since crop losses by diseases are serious, improvement of current crop protection technology is an important challenge and urgent issue to establish sustainable society.
The NOUTOSHI laboratory is one of the groups in Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama Uniersity. We are using chemical biology approach to reveal immune system in plants. A large number of bioactive molecules which inhibit or activate plant immune responses were isolated and their modes of actions have been studying. Plant immune-activating compounds are expected to apply for agrochemicals so-called plant activators which are practically used in fields. We would like to contribute global food security to develop novel crop protectants or biocontrol agents. Recently we started new research projects. One is elucidation of molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity and host plant immunity in the interaction between Rhizoctonia solani, a causal agent of sheath blight, and a model plant Brachypodium distachyon. The other one is characterization of suppression effect of Rhizobium vitis on grapevine grown gall disease. 
Please contact me freely if you want to join our lab. You can belong to the lab as a student of Okayama University. Basically students need to obtain scholarship from MEXT through Japanese Embassy. Please see the links below. For Ph.D., you can study here as post-doctoral fellow using JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers program or the other JSPS international fellowships for research in Japan.
  Study in JAPAN Comprehensive Guide
  Scholarship from Japanese Government MONBUKAGAKUSHO (MEXT)
  Application Guidelines for Enrollment, Okayama University
  Overseas Selection for International Students (Doctor course) (PDF)
  Application forms (PDF)
  General information for Foreign Students, Okayama University
  Admission Procedures
  Visa, CESR, Housing and Support Services

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