Summary of Research Project Results under JSPS FY2004
"Research for the Future Program"

1. Research Institution   University of Tsukuba
2. Research Area Life Sciences
3. Research Field Plant Genetics
4. Term of Project FY 2000 - FY 2004
5. Project Number 00L01602
6. Title of Project Gene Analysis of Plant Biodiversity and the Effects of Transgenic Plants on the Environment

7. Project Leader

Name Institution, Department Title of Position
Isao Inouye University of Tsukuba, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences Professor

8. Core Members

Names Institution, Department Title of Position
Kazuo Watanabe University of Tsukuba, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences Professor
Izumi Washitani The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences Professor

9. Summary of Research Results

  1. Major lineages of eukaryotic algae were investigated from phylogenetic point of view. (1) Two new classes of the stramenopiles, the Pinguiophyceae and Placidiophyceae, were described. (2) Monophyly of the coccolithophorids confirmed and its probable ancient branch was discovered. (3) Charalean algae were the closest relative of the land plants. (4)In addition to these primary goals, a novel group of the eukaryotes was discovered and described as the divisionKatablepharidophyta. (5)A flagellate switching animal like and plant like stages was discovered. This deduced life form was proposed as a half plant and half predator model as an early stage of the plastid acquisition.
  2. Risk assessment methods were examined and new tools and approaches for the measurement of genetic diversity were developed: (1) plants: functional genomic marker based on cytochrome P450 for intraspecific genetic diversity, (2) plants: holistic gene expression evaluation to compare homoeologous genomes for genomic diversity, (3) microorganisms: nucleic acid extraction method and sequencing-gel based assessment on soil microbial species diversity by RISA and T-RFLP. Also risk communication approach and methods are analyzed and some recommendation was made on public acceptance on the transgenic research
  3. A large number of microsatellite markers were developed, and detailed gene flow and genetic structure within each population of Primula sieboldii and the hierarchy of genetic variation throughout Japan were investigated. Results helped to determine genetic or evolutional conservation unit of P. sieboldii. The multipurpose IBM was constructed based on the quantitative data on the pollen flow depending on the behavior of the pollinators and the seed flow by the seed dispersal. These are useful to evaluate the extinction risk of fragmented population especially in relation to the inbreeding depression and kinship structure formed by the effective gene flow. The strong inbreeding depression suggests that many lethal and delitorious genes are accumulated in the genome of the species. We should consider these genetic features in conservation practices. We obtained a partial linkage map through QTL mapping which might be useful in a more detailed genetic consideration in the conservation of the population of the species.

10. Key Words

( 1 ) Algae ( 2 ) Kathablepharidophyta ( 3 ) half-plant half predator model
( 4 ) genetic diversity ( 5 ) risk communication ( 6 ) soil microorganisms
( 7 ) Primula sieboldii ( 8 ) gene flow ( 9 ) gene structure