Laboratory of Forest Functional Biology

We focus on the functional aspects of forest organisms through physiological, chemical, structural and genetic research at the individual, organ, tissue, cell and gene levels, and investigation of the compounds expressed against various biotic and abiotic agents in diverse forest environments. We are attempting to reveal the mechanisms of interaction among these agents. Such information can be applied to protection, improvement and sustainable use strategies for forests. Our research topics include how trees respond to pathogen attacks and how the environment and symbiotic microorganisms affect the defense systems of trees. These topics are studied in terms of the interactions between trees and other forest organisms, particularly microorganisms. With respect to environmental stress, the tolerance of trees to heavy metals and water stress has been evaluated. This information can be used for the reforestation of deserted mines contaminated with heavy metals as well as the improvement of tree health in urban areas.

Major theme

  • Defense responses and resistance mechanisms of trees against pathogens and their application to forest health.
  • Mechanism of the blockage of water conduction in trees with wilt disease and determinants of pathogenesis
  • Process of deserted mine reforestation and the role of symbiotic microorganisms, and improvements to reforestation
  • Inhibiting factors of tree regeneration and improvement of regeneration
  • Relationship between responses of trees against biotic/abiotic stress and gene expression/metabolites
  • Mechanisms of useful metabolites formation of woody plants and their effective production
Isolation of pathogenic fungi from diseased leaves
Reforestation experiment of a deserted asbestos mine
Wood decay of living trees - a study of defense responses and development of nondestructive detection methods
The search for useful constituents of woody plants by instrumental analysis <Heartwood constituents of sandalwood>