Molecular Breeding Group conducts basic molecular biological research on horticultural plants. The works cover several aspects of plant science/biotechnology such as gene cloning, genetic engineering, tissue culture technique and DNA marker. Our main target is “Gentian” that is the most important ornamental flower in Iwate prefecture, Japan.
We have been studying on molecular mechanisms that control flower pigmentation and morphogenesis in Japanese gentians, Gentiana triflora and G. scabra. Genetic engineering of gentians with valuable traits such as novel flower colors and shapes is one of our purposes, and we have undertaken functional analyses of genes to achieve the purposes using several model plants, such as Arabidopsis, tobacco and torenia plants.
In addition to genetic transformation studies, we aim to support the conventional breeding programs of gentians by application of genetic markers. Namely, establishment of marker-assisted selection (MAS) system is our second purpose to promote the designed breeding in gentian.
research in support of the plant breeding will give some helpful information not only for gentians but
also for other horticultural plants. For practical purposes, we collaborate with
Iwate Agricultural Research Center routinely and conduct applied research.
1) Studies on flower pigmentation in gentians and other plants
2) Studies on floral morphogenesis in gentians
3) Studies on production of transgenic plants
4) Establishment of marker assisted selection in gentian breeding
Graduate students are welcomed to join our
group through the United Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Iwate University.
Application to postdoctoral JSPS fellowship for foreign researchers is possible, if the terms and conditions are met to our research theme. Please contact the following email addresses if you have any queries.
Group Leader Masahiro Nishihara, Ph. D. mnishiha AT ibrc.or.jp
Chief Researcher Nobuhiro Sasaki, Ph. D n-sasak AT ibrc.or.jp
Research Assistant Eri Yamada
Technical Support 2 person