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@Field of Research on Crop Production Management Systems
@Field of Research on the Function and Regulation of Animal Production
@Field of Research on Crop Genomic Breeding
@Field of Research on Fruit Tree Genomic Breeding
@Field of Research on the Development and Utilization of New Breeding Materials for Ornamental Plants

Outline of field of research on the Function and Regulation of Animal Production
@@The world currently has significant problems such as global environmental deterioration and food and energy issues. Rumen microorganisms may become clues to help us solve these problems. @ Ruminants provide us with milk and meat as food by using plant fiber, which monogastric animals such as humans or pigs cannot use. This is a function of the microorganisms living in the rumen, not the ruminants themselves (a more effective use of this function may lead to a solution of the food problem). A The plant fiber is made from carbon dioxide through photosynthesis by plants using solar energy. An effective use of this largest biomass on the earth may lead to a solution of the energy problem (rumen microorganisms are considered to most effectively use the biomass). B Material recycling is important in protecting the global environment. Rumen microorganisms play a central role from the viewpoint of material conversion (although because they produce methane, a greenhouse gas, it is urgent to establish control methods for methane emission to protect the global environment).

@@Various methods of studying rumen microorganisms include: @ using actual domestic animals; A culturing the microorganisms in test tubes or an artificial rumen; B cloning and analyzing genes with any functions; and C analyzing genes directly without culture of the microorganisms. We are promoting our education and research, mainly on the following topics, by using several methods from among the approaches mentioned above (although there is a possibility that we will need to develop new approaches):

EStudy on fiber degradation systems of rumen microorganisms
EStudy on ruminant feeding and management in order to reduce greenhouse effects
EStudy on molecular biological methods for detection and quantification of rumen microorganisms
EStudy of endocrine and metabolic mechanisms in growing and lactating dairy cattle

@@In the following section, some research examples for each tutor are introduced, but we hope that our students will not only focus on the research themes within these examples but will be interested in a wide range of subjects from large domestic animals to tiny microorganisms and even genes toward the overall goal of our program, as described above. We also welcome students who are purely interested in microorganisms or animals (although our targets are ruminants). Please contact us for more information if you are interested in working in our laboratory

Shiro Kushibiki
@@Research is being conducted to reveal the secretion and effects of growth hormone or related hormones for growth and lactation in dairy cows. By elucidating the mechanism of nutritional regulation of the somatotropin axis, mainly for growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), basic knowledge has been accumulated to develop technologies for the effective and stable expression of lactating ability. In addition, we aim to elucidate the expression dynamics and effects of ghrelin, which is a promising new lactation-controlling hormone secreted by the gastrointestinal tract, and resistin, which is secreted by fatty tissues.
@@Current research themes are gElucidation of factors influencing the circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion in dairy cowsh, gDevelopment of technologies for increasing milk production by using the characteristics of the lactation-control mechanism of somatotropin-IGF1h, and gAnalysis of expression volume of lactation-regulation substances such as GLUT and hormone receptors with changes in the somatotropin axis in tissuesh.

Makoto Mitsumori
@Microorganisms such as protozoa, bacteria, and fungi (rumen microorganisms) live in the rumen, and vegetable feed is digested through their fermentation to provide the host ruminant with energy and nutrient sources. Rumen bacteria, which are one type of rumen microorganism, live in the rumen at high densities (1010-1011 cells/ml) and contribute greatly to anaerobic fermentation. Therefore, we expect that research on rumen bacteria will enable us to develop technologies for better regulation of rumen fermentation.

Research on rumen bacteria has been promoted by culturing rumen bacteria in a test tube (culture method). Because many rumen bacteria are obligatory anaerobes that cannot protect themselves from the toxic effects of oxygen, analysis of rumen bacteria by the culture method requires a great deal of time and labor. On the other hand, the culture method can provide important information based on bacterial physiology, such as biochemical characteristics.

Since about 10 years ago, a molecular ecological analysis based on the sequence of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rDNA) has been applied to rumen bacteria and has revealed that many types of bacteria that could not be detected by the culture method live in the rumen. However, by using this molecular genetic method, we can only assume the functions of these rumen bacteria from the functions of related bacterial species.

In consideration of these factors, our laboratory is striving to incorporate a functional analysis into the molecular ecological analysis. If you are interested in our research, please contact us for more information.

Photograph: Example of detection of rumen bacteria by the PCR method

Kiyoshi Tajima
@To raise the feed self-sufficiency ratio, we are developing feed technologies by exploiting co-products and by-products (eco-feed), and using probiotic microbes and functional substances contained in feed resources. Fermented liquid feed is one method of preparing eco-feed for animals. Liquid feed that is fermented with probiotic lactic acid bacteria has various functions, such as immunostimulating effect, regulation of intestinal function and exclusion of pathogenic bacteria.

The purposes of this study are to reduce the usage of antibiotics in feeds and to create high-quality animal products with fermented liquid feeds.