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Outline of our achievements

Laboratory of Applied Gene Technology

About our research

Purpose of our research

Biological manufacturing systems that use microbial fermentation technology to produce products such as soy sauce, miso, alcohol, and pharmaceutical products are also associated with maintaining human life. In recent years, there have been many attempts to create novel genetically-modified microbial production systems using available genomic information. We are currently exploring novel and useful genes present in environmental metagenomes and are developing genome manipulation technologies to create microbes that can be used to produce useful products.

Characteristics of our research

We gather metagenomic information from environmental microbes living in soil or salt water using high-throughput sequencing technology, termed next-generation sequencing. We also directly clone useful gene candidates based on sequence analysis and screen for genes encoding enzymes useful for materials' production by functional analysis of the expressed gene products.

Expected fields of application

Microbial breeding, which rapidly creates genetically-modified microbes that produce useful materials, is valuable not only for improving traditional Japanese fermentation technology, but also for manufacturing value-added chemical compounds, including biofuels, and chemical feedstocks. In addition, such microbial breeding makes an environmentally-friendly low carbon society, which is independent of fossil resources such as petroleum, more of a reality.

Our research projects

  1. Exploration of novel and useful genes.
  2. We analyze the metagenome sequences of microbes living in a variety of environments using next-generation sequencers and collect both the genetic resource itself and the related information as a heritage for mankind. We also identify useful candidate genes through sequence homology searches.

  3. Developing host microorganisms that can efficiently produce useful materials.
  4. We are promoting the improvement of microorganisms used by the fermentation industry and trying to create a novel genetically-modified host system suitable for the efficient manufacture of useful materials.

  5. Development of genome manipulation technology.
  6. We are developing technology to enable the efficient manipulation of genome modification, such as the introduction of multiple genes and regulatory systems for gene expression.