Research projects

1. Chemical biology approach for plant immunity system
2. Development of plant defense activator, immune-priming compound
3. Model pathosystem for sheath blight disease using Rhizoctonia solani and Brachypodium distachyon
4. Suppression mechanism of a biocontrol bacterial agent for Rhizobium vitis

 

1. Chemical biology apporoach for plant immunity system

Human beings have used crop protection methods such as disease resistant varieties and pesticides. Recently, recombination technology are used to confer disease resistance or tolerance to crops. The current crop production is maintained by full use of these approaches. In order to further improve the situation, development of new methodology based on novel approaches are required. To create technological innovation, the understanding of both pathogen infection strategy and the plant immune mechanism at molecular levels are needed.
 
To identify genes involved in plant immunity, genetics approach have been used for long time. From populations with randomly mutagenized genome DNA, mutants which show abnormal immune response are selected and then the causal genes can be identified as candidates for new immune components. DNA mutations make amino acid substitution or truncation of proteins leading to phenotypes.
 
In chemical biology (chemical genetics), chemical compounds are used instead of a DNA mutation to inhibits or enhances the function of proteins, as a substance of gene, that can produce phenotypes. The compounds which affect specific biological phenomena are used to identify proteinaceous players as targets. The advantage of this approach is that it can identify essential genes or functionally redundant genes since the bioactive molecules can be applied in particular timings or concentrations.
 
We have developed an high-throughput assay system that can quantitatively evaluate a immune response of plant cell called hypersensitive cell death after pathogen infection. This enables screening for the agents that inhibit or enhance plant immune responses from libraries of the various compounds. We isolated a large number of immune inhibitors and potentiators. By analyzing their action mechanisms, we are now trying to identify their action mechanisms to understand disease resistance response and the defense-activating approaches in plants.
 
Reference
Frontiers in Plant Science
When Chemistry meets Biology – Generating Innovative Concepts, Methods and Tools for Scientific Discovery in the Plant Sciences
 
 

2. Development of plant defense activator, immune-priming compound

 
Under consrtruction

3. Model pathosystem for sheath blight disease using R. solani and B. distachyon

 
 Under construction

4. Suppression mechanism of a biocontrol bacterial agent for crown gall disease

  Under construction