Institute of Crop Science, NARO

Wheat and Barley Breeding Unit

The aim of our wheat breeding program is to develop new high-quality wheat varieties for making bread or Japanese noodles particularly suitable for warm regions in Japan. Another objective is to use DNA markers in developing new varieties of wheat with traits such as disease resistance or new starch properties. The novel WYMV (wheat yellow mosaic virus) resistant wheat variety is a near-isogenic line of 'Tamaizumi' which is cultivated in warm areas in Japan and is a suitable ingredient of soy sauce and Chinese yellow alkaline noodles. This new variety has a WYMV resistant gene introduced from the 'Yumechikara' using DNA markers and back-crossing methods.

Our barley breeding program aims to breed varieties of roasted barley tea and pearled barley with resistance to major pathogenic viruses, namely, barley yellow mosaic virus (BYMV) and the Japanese soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (JSBWMV). Both BYMV and JSBWMV are major soil-borne disease pests in Japanese barley mediated by Polymyxa graminis. We are also developing new barley varieties and expand the health benefits that can be derived from this crop. Roasted barley tea also known locally as 'mugicha' is a typical beverage in Japan extracted by stewing the roasted barley grains in warm water. Barley is recognized as a major functional food with high level of dietary fibers such as beta-glucan. Recently, end-user companies demand waxy barley varieties with high-beta gluten content. So our goal is to release barley varieties to meet the needs of both manufacturers and consumers.


Unit Leader


Unit Members

Chikako KIRIBUCHI-OTOBE Senior Principal Researcher
Takashi YANAGISAWA Senior Principal Researcher
Toshiyuki TAKAYAMA Principal Researcher
Emiko AOKI Principal Researcher
Makoto TOGOU Senior Researcher
Hisayo KOJIMA Researcher
Ryouichi MASUDA Researcher