Institute of Crop Science, NARO

Breeding Materials Development Unit

The Breeding Materials Development Unit aims to develop breeding materials using mutant libraries to facilitate the isolation of agronomically valuable genes and innovation of new alleles of genes.

As to the isolation of valuable genes, we focus on several genes involved in response to future challenges in crop productivity. We have so far isolated pre-harvest sprouting resistance genes based on genetic analysis. It will contribute in preventing reduction of grain quality of rice and wheat. With the approach combining physiology with quantitative genetics, we attempt to identify a new gene responsible for increased grain size and yield of rice. We have also identified the early morning flowering genes, which can avoid high-temperature injury of fertilization of rice, and identified the brown plant-hopper resistance gene of rice. The deeper rooting genes can modify the root architecture and contribute in efficient water and/or nutrition uptake of rice.

Mutation breeding has been widely use for development of new crops. Here, we are developing mutant populations for innovation of new alleles. Recently, based on reverse genetic approach such as TILLING, HRM and amplicon sequence, we can screen and obtain mutants with mutation on target genes, which are predicted to improve agronomic traits. Thus, we have developed mutant populations of rice, soybean, and wheat for innovation of new alleles via forward and reverse genetic approaches. We have obtained rice mutants for pre-harvest resistance, wheat mutants with large grain size for development of high yielding breeding materials, and short internode mutants of soybean for improvement of lodging resistance.


Unit Leader


Unit Members

Yuji TAKAHASHI Senior Principal Researcher
Ken ISHIMARU Senior Principal Researcher
Hideyuki HIRABAYASHI Senior Principal Researcher
Susumu HIRAGA Principal Researcher
Yusaku UGA Senior Researcher
Yoko OHNO Researcher