Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO

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Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO (NIFTS) conducts basic and innovative research in fruit tree and tea science in order to respond to the needs of consumers, producers and people involved in related industries, and contributes to the advancement of fruit and tea production and the enrichment of dietary life in Japan.


The genome sequence of Satsuma mandarin was unveiled

kankitsuThe National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, in collaboration with the National Institute of Genetics, decoded the entire genome sequence of Satsuma mandarin (Miyagawa Wase). About 29,000 genes including 91 genes involved in coloring and fruit-setting of citrus fruits were deduced. The genome sequence information will facilitate for improving the efficiency in the citrus breeding program, productivity, and quality of citrus fruits. Read more.

Elucidating the relationship of compost application and freezing tolerance in Japanese pear

kankitsu The cause of dead flower buds frequently observed in the Japanese pear cultivar 'Kosui' (Pyrus pyrifolia) grown under open field conditions in the southwestern regions of Japan was elucidated. During fall-winter months with relatively warm temperature, the freezing tolerance of flower buds showed insufficient freezing tolerance resulting in frost damage due to the coldness of winter. Application of fertilizer and compost in autumn and winter reduced the freezing tolerance and increased the number of dead flower buds. By changing the time of applying fertilizer and compost in the spring, it was revealed that the death rate of flower bud can be drastically reduced. Read more.

Predicting fruit trait with high accuracy at young seedling stage of citrus

kankitsuA joint research project of NIFTS with the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Genetics has revealed that genomic selection, which predicts traits based on a large amount of DNA marker genotype data, would be effective to predict fruit traits at the young seedling stage of citrus individuals. The application of genomic selection will facilitate accurate selection of important traits such as fruit weight, fruit color, peelability etc. at the seedling stage without the evaluation of fruit itself. Read more.

Early maturing peach cultivar 'Sakuhime' suitable for cultivation in warm regions

sakuhimeAn early maturing peach cultivar 'Sakuhime', as been developed, which flowers normally even when exposed to low temperature at about half the time required for major Japanese peach cultivars, leading to stable peach production even if the winter temperature continues to rise due to global warming. This new cultivar also produces fruits that ripen about 5 days earlier and fruit quality that is almost the same as the major early maturing cultivar 'Hikawahakuho'. Read more.

Green tea cultivar "Seimei" suitable for Matcha and powdered tea

seimeiThe Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO has developed a semi-early harvesting green tea cultivar "Seimei" which is superior in yield, color of processed tea, taste such as umami, and suitable for Matcha and powdered tea. This green tea cultivar can be cultivated from Kanto to Kyushu region, and therefore has a wider cultivation area than the high-quality green tea cultivar "Saemidori". This new cultivar will contribute in strengthening the branding of Japanese tea and expanding the demand for high-quality green tea such as Matcha, powdered tea, shaded tea, and sencha. Read more.

DNA analysis elucidates the parent cultivars of Satsuma mandarin

satsumaGenome-wide genotyping using 384 citrus single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and MARCO computer software has been applied to determine the parent cultivars of satsuma mandarin. As a result, it has been clarified that 'Kishuu mikan' type mandarins and 'Kunenbo' type mandarins are the possible seed and pollen parents, respectively, of satsuma mandarin. Elucidation of the excellent traits of satsuma mandarin at the gene level using DNA markers will contribute to efficient breeding of more improved varieties. Read more.

Research on Benifuki Green Tea

Presented at the G7 Science Ministerial Meeting, Tsukuba

g7 meeting The NIFTS research on 'Benifuki' tea cultivar is part of NARO's efforts on the development of functional agricultural foods and their processed products in order to promote a healthy and rich diet for consumers and to address the country's food supply issues. The research achievement was presented at the exhibition hall of the G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Meeting held in Tsukuba on May 15-17, 2016. The poster focused on 'Memehana-cha', a green tea beverage derived from 'Benifuki' cultivar. It is rich in O-methylated catechins and is classified as a healthy drink as it alleviates eye or nose discomfort caused by exposure to house dust etc. It has also been found to be effective against allergy to cedar pollen which is a serious allergy problem in Japan at the onset of spring.

High duty cycle pulses suppress orientation flights of crambid moths

moth Bat-and-moth is a good model system for understanding predator-prey interactions resulting from interspecific coevolution. Night-flying insects have been under predation pressure from echolocating bats for 65 Myr, pressuring vulnerable moths to evolve ultrasound detection and evasive maneuvers as counter tactics. Past studies of defensive behaviors against attacking bats have been biased toward noctuoid moth responses to short duration pulses of low-duty-cycle (LDC) bat calls. Depending on the region, however, moths have been exposed to predation pressure from high-duty-cycle (HDC) bats as well. Here, we reveal that long duration pulse of the sympatric HDC bat (e.g., greater horseshoe bat) is easily detected by the auditory nerve of Japanese crambid moths (yellow peach moth and Asian corn borer) and suppress both mate-finding flights of virgin males and host-finding flights of mated females. Read more.

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