The long-range aim of this project is to construct useful transgenic plants with high potentials in assimilation ability and in stresses tolerance. To this end, two experimental procedures are undertaken: increasing photosynthesis capacity and molecular breeding with stress resistant genes. During past five years, following results were obtained.
|( 1 )
||The origin of RUBISCO was identified, and its evolution mechanism was proposed.
|( 2 )
||The molecular mechanism to tolerate strong light intensity was elucidated.
|( 3 )
||Plant growth rate and biomass were greatly increased by introducing FBP/SBP genes, which constitute
the rate limiting step in Calvin cycle.
|( 4 )
||An amino acid derivative, citrulline, was found to show a strong anti-oxidant activity from wild water melons grown in the
drought regions in Africa. The method to practically utilize this compound for plant molecular breeding as well as for
cosmetic components was developed.
|( 5 )
||The molecular mechanism by which rice plants recognize bacterial pathogens was identified.
|( 6 )
||The signaling mechanism for the hypersensitive response during viral pathogen infection in tobacco plants was proposed.
|( 7 )
||The resistance against a fungal pathogen, rice blight, was shown to be mediated through G-proteins, which are essential
for pathogen recognition and signaling.
|( 8 )
||Salt tolerant tobacco cells were constructed by introducing a gene for Na/K antiporter pump protein.
|( 9 )
||Caffeine biosynthetic pathway was clarified, and decaffeinated coffee plants were constructed. Similarly,
transgenic tobacco in which caffeine was synthesized showed a strong repellant activity towards tobacco cutworms.
||A phytoremediation method for heavy metal contaminants was developed using genes for sulfur assimilating and heavy
metal binding proteins.
||Epigenetic mechanism for gene silencing and activation was studied through analyses of DNA methyaltion.