Expansion and application of ecology and functions of soil microorganisms


Soils harbor the largest number and variety of microorganisms on earth. Soil microorganisms are tiny and invisible, but they are essential members for the natural ecosystem and human society, supporting environmental homeostasis (e.g. carbon/nitrogen cycles) and plants growth. Such ecological functions of soil microorganisms become the foundation of the applied technology for environmental conservation and increased food production. However, most of the soil microorganisms are still unknown, leading to our “glimpse” of the ecological function of soil microorganisms. We aim to expand our understanding of the ecology and functions of soil microorganisms, by multifaceted viewpoints and methodological approaches, and to explore seeds for innovative technologies. The main research topics in recent years are as followings;

  • Characterization and utilization of ubiquitous but previously-overlooked nitrogen fixation bacteria in paddy soils
  • Elucidation and application of the hidden relationship between soils and insects for pest control.
Research targets: A, paddy field. B, soil microorganisms. C, rice bug. D, medaka.