Toward durable crop protection technology

Plant diseases cause great reduction of annual global crop yield. Such loss is equivalent to food for multibillion people. Evan at the present day, there are various crop diseases which threaten food secirity in the world. In addition, novel diseases or virulent isolates sometimes come out and they become agricultural and economical problems in not only local area but also world scale.
Since major crops contain a large amount of sugars and lipids, they are superior resources for biofuels as well. To reduce global warming gas, utilization of bioethanol and biodiesel is getting increased. Accordingly, supplies of food and feeding stuffs are decreasing and it reflects 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 can directly contribute 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 defense activators which are practically used in the agricultural fields.
Recently we started new research projects. One is the molecular pathogenicity and host plant immunity of rice shath blight disease caused by a necrotrophic fungal pathogen, Rhizoctonia solani. To understand this disease at molecular level, we developed a model pathosystem using Brachypodium distachyon, an emerging model plant for monocots. The other one is the bacterial biological control agent for grapevine crown gall disease. We are now investigating its suppressive mechanism. 
Through these studies, we would like to contribute to crop protection.
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 or the other JSPS international Fellowships for Research in Japan.
  Study in JAPAN Comprehensive Guide
  Scholarship from Japanese Government MONBUKAGAKUSHO (MEXT)
  Application Guide for Enrollment in October 2019,
  Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
  General information for Foreign Students, JASSO
  Admission Procedures
  Visa, CESR, Housing and Support Services

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