Agrogenomics Research Center

Plant Genome Research Unit

Analysis of genomes and agriculturally important genes in rice, wheat, barley and sorghum

 The Plant Genome Research Unit is analyzing the genome structures, discovering agriculturally important genes and investigating their functions in gramineaeous plants such as rice, wheat, barley and sorghum. By simultaneously monitoring the expression of thousands of genes in rice, systematic responses to several biotic/ abiotic stresses including climate changes and diseases are investigated. For the Triticeae crops, the genome sequencing of the wheat chromosome is now in progress as a member of an international project. Also, basic investigations of genes for flowering and for determining row shape of wheat and barley are being performed for the breeding of future innovative varieties. Sorghum, which had long been considered forage in Japan, is now being evaluated as a resource for biomass and conversion to bioethanol. We are studying a gene for resistance against a devastating disease of sorghum that severely damages biomass production.

  • Mechanism of barley flower openingRed arrow indicates swelling.
  • Photo
    Disease-infected sorghumThese plants will not yield high biomass. A disease resistant variety of sorghum is required for breeding of high biomass plants.