Plants, which cannot move on the ground, have developed their own strategies to cope with fluctuating environments. Chemical compounds produced endogenously are one such example, and plants produce a wide variety of chemicals compared to animals.
We are especially focusing on bioactive small molecules called “plant hormones”, and studying how the compounds regulate various physiological responses. Through this approach, we will reveal the mechanisms by which plants survive under stressful conditions, such as high temperature and high salinity, in the tropics.
Furthermore, among the compounds produced by plants, there are many “phytochemicals” that strongly affect the physiological functions of animals. We are also conducting research to study the functions of plant resources in islands located in subtropical regions and to apply these molecules to the maintenance of human health.
Main Research Topics
- Identifications of the factors involved in the biosynthesis, transport and signal transduction of plant hormones
- Elucidation of the mechanisms for plant stress responses
- Elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate seed dormancy and germination
- Improvement of lifestyle-related diseases by unique resources in Okinawa
- Discovery and study of phytochemicals expressing novel interactive activity
Figure１ Abscisic acid (ABA) deficient Arabidopsis mutants (lower) show a wilty phenotype due to the defect in stomatal closure.
Figure 2 Arctigenin (ARC) and nobiletin (NOB) work synergistically to inhibit fat accumulation.
|Associate Prof.||Hironori IWASAKI|
|Adjunct Associate Prof.||Masashi INAFUKU|