Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO

image The Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO (NIAS) focuses on understanding the biological phenomena of agriculturally important plants, insects, microbes and animals to create innovative technologies, and eventually contribute to the solution of global issues such as food shortage due to rapid population growth and environmental problems due to climate change. NIAS is doing research and development to create new industries and new demands in the field of agricultural and medicinal industries by applying genetic engineering technologies to plants, insects and animals. In plants, for example, we are developing new rice varieties resistant to major diseases including blast. Moreover, we will include non-clinical and clinical research trials of rice-based edible vaccines for curing cedar pollinosis. In insects, we are developing medicinal materials from silk protein and medicines for humans and animals using transgenic silkworm. Furthermore, we are developing transgenic pigs to produce immune-deficit pigs and animal models for human diseases.

NIAS News

US Embassy Staff visited NIAS

Press Release 2017.05.01


Mr. Christopher Riker, Senior Attache and Chief Agricultural Officer, and Mr. Taku Sato, Agricultural Specialist of the US Embassy in Japan visited the Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO on April 25th, 2017 and met with Dr. Koh-ichi Kadowaki (NIAS Director-General), Mr. Kazumasa Shioya (NARO Vice-President for Research Collaboration) and NIAS researchers. They also visited the NIAS facilities for cultivation of genetically modified rice and silkworm research. Click here to know more


Plasmas promote protein introduction in plants

Press Release 2017.02.10

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO, have developed a technique for introducing proteins into plant cells using plasma treatment. Their method could have multiple applications in plant research and industry. The introduction of organic matter, such as proteins, into living cells has multiple uses for basic scientific research and industrial techniques. For example, the behavior of cell components can be traced by introducing a protein that emits a fluorescent signal into the cell. While scientists have long been successful in delivering proteins into living animal cells, there are difficulties in using the same techniques for plant studies. Click here to know more


New Glowing Silk Dress

Press Release 2016.07.20

The glowing silk evening gowns created using fluorescent silk materials developed by the Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO (NIAS) using genetic recombination technology in silkworm, were presented in the 2016 Yumi Katsura Grand Collection in Osaka held at the Osaka Imperial Hotel on July 20, 2016. The glowing silk dresses were jointly produced by Hama-Chirimen Kogyo Cooperative Association, Yumi Katsura International, and NARO. Click here to know more





Start of rearing transgenic silkworm

Press Release 2016.06.08

The experimental plan for rearing of transgenic silkworm for FY2016 has been announced. This year, transgenic silkworm used for production of blue and orange-color fluorescent silk as well as deep staining silk will be reared. The announcement of this year's schedule including the procedure for rearing and assessment of risk to biological diversity was held at the Gunma Sericultural Technology Center in Maeba City, Gunma Prefecture on June 30, 2016. Press release is available here (in Japanese only).




Silkworm research at the G7 Science Ministers Meeting in Tsukuba

Press Release 2016.06.08

The NIAS research on production of fluorescent silk from transgenic silkworm was presented at the exhibition hall of the G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Meeting held in Tsukuba on May 15-17, 2016. The NIAS has developed a system for stable transformation of silkworm to facilitate efficient development and utilization of transgenic silkworms for fundamental research and bio-industries. The exhibit focused on the fluorescent silk products generated from silkworm transformed with glowing red, orange and green proteins from corals and jellyfish. The NIAS researchers involved in silkworm research explained about the exhibit to visiting G7 science ministers.

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