Environmental Response Research Unit



  • April 2022
    Miwa Matsukura joined the lab as Contract Technical Assistant.
  • Dec 2021
    Wen Dee ONG joined the lab as Postdoctoral Researcher.
  • April 2021
    Sumiko Morokuma joined the lab as temporary staffing.
  • April 2020
    Ayako Miya joined the lab as technical staff.
  • Mar 2018
    Announcement:  Regulatory Network Research Unit has been changed to Environmental Response Research Unit since 2018 April.

Research Outline

    Potassium and nitrogen are major nutrients for plant growth, and lack of them has entailed increased use of fertilizers. However, increased fertilizer usage does not result in comparable production increase, and excess fertilizer run-off creates soil pollution. Growing ecological awareness necessitates new solutions to increase agricultural production without endangering the environment, and achieve food security via sustainable agriculture. As solutions to these issues, we aim to elucidate the components of plant potassium sensing and deficiency signaling in Arabidopsis using various approaches. In parallel, we are using a marine red macroalga, Pyropia yezoensis (susabinori) in order to understand the mechanisms that enable seaweeds to survive in salty condition and to compare these mechanisms with those of the land plant Arabidopsis thaliana in terms of Na+/K+ homeostasis. We are also intensively analyzing regulatory components of cesium uptake that selectively inhibit/suppress/prevent uptake of radiocesium from contaminated soil. In addition, to establish efficient phytoremediation methods for unwanted metals, characterization of chemical compounds which affect cesium and heavy metal uptake in plants is in progress.

Contents of Research

  1. Dissection of signaling cascades in plant response to potassium deprivation
  2. Improvement of plant nutrient use efficiency in response to nutrient limitation
  3. Understanding of marine macroalgae life in the marine environment
  4. Remediation of land contaminated with unwanted metals using plants and chemical compounds


Elucidating membrane transporters for cation transport in various systems, Arabidopsis, rice and seaweeds
CsTolen A reduces Cs+ uptake in soil grown plants