NARO Institute of Crop Science (NICS)


The Institute of Crop Science is one of the core research institute of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) conducting research on the breeding of rice, wheat, barley and soybean, and the development of new technologies for breeding. Research activities also cover the understanding of basic mechanism of agronomic and physiological traits regarding crop-quality, photosynthesis, and productivity. The Institute of Crop Science aims to improve the self-sufficiency ratio of agricultural crop production in Japan through these research efforts.


Discovery of the pre-harvest sprouting tolerance gene in wheat and barley

~ Towards efficient breeding of pre-harvest sprouting tolerant cultivars ~

Press Release 2016.03.31

The gene involved in pre-harvest sprouting, a condition where germination of grains occurs in the spike before harvest, has been separately identified in wheat and barley. Moreover, it has been found to be same gene in in these two cereal crops. This discovery will contribute to the improvement of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in both wheat and barley, that will be particularly useful in the breeding of tolerant cultivars. Read more.

Induction of a high frequency mutation in soybean generates useful genetic variations

~ Towards breeding soybean cultivars with novel traits ~

Press Release 2016.03.01

Many useful variations in soybean have been generated using a highly efficient technology that involves induction of mutation combined with a cost-effective and high-throughput sequencing strategy to select the resulting variations in the genes. The mutant soybean population contains many genetic variations particularly in the genes associated with highly desirable agronomic traits such as early-maturing that could be used in breeding for new and improved soybean cultivars. Read more.

Corporate Number 7050005005207