Department of Applied Biological Sciences


Department of Applied Biological Sciences

Learning how it works.

We are conducting research on principles and mechanisms of the biological activities of plants, animals, marine organisms, and microorganisms, and working toward their application and use in agricultural science.
We pursue in-depth research from a broad perspective, ranging from genome to individual organisms and ecosystems.


Department of Applied Biological Sciences Special Site


Key Points of Study

01Acquiring applied skills to support the development of advanced science

We train personnel with expertise in diverse areas, including plants, animals, marine organisms, and microorganisms.

Researching

02Developing researchers who can play an active role in diverse industrial fields

Agricultural and biological sciences have developed through experimentation and practice. We provide laboratory classes and farm practical training curriculum that allows students to experience, think and learn by themselves.

experiment

03Utilizing science and technology to play an active role in diverse industrial fields

Our education has three main components, Agriculture, life science, and computer science. Based upon these, we raise specialists that can play an active role in diverse industrial fields related to food, life, and the environmental sciences.

Researching

Curriculum

Students can learn basic knowledge about plants, animals, marine organisms, and microorganisms, as well as advanced knowledge and technologies such as fermentation, genetic manipulation, and bioinformatics.

Laboratory

●Compulsory Courses

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  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Specialty
Subjects
Common
Courses
●Introduction to Agriculture
●Basic Seminar in Agriculture
Seminar in Global Agriculture Seminar in Smart Agriculture
Agricultural Meteorology
Forest Ecology
Agricultural Intellectual Property
Specialty
Core
Courses
Fundamental Courses Fundamentals of Chemistry
Exercises in Basic Chemistry
Fundamentals of Biology
Exercises in Basic Biology
Fundamentals of Physics
Biostatistics    
Plant Science Courses ●Biotechnology
Biodiversity and Systematics
●Molecular Biology of the Genome
●Plant Genetic Engineering and Agricultural Biotechnology
●Cell Biology
Functional Genome Biology
Plant Molecular Physiology
   
Microbiology Courses ●Biochemistry ●Applied Microbiology
●Ecology
●Virology and Symbiosis
Microbial Engineering
Microbiology in Plant Symbiosis  
Animal & Marine Biology Courses   ●Livestock and Companion Animals
●Animal Structure and Function
●Marine Zoology
Biological Function of Marine Animals
Introductory Immunology
Basic Knowledge of Bioinformatics
Practice in Bioinformatics
Marine Biological Chemistry
Utilization of Aquatic Bioresources
Applied Phycology
 
Experiments and practical training ●Experiments in Chemistry
●Experiments in Biology
●Basic Experiments in Applied Biosciences I
●Basic Experiments in Applied Biosciences II
●Experiments in Applied Biosciences I
●Experiments in Applied Biosciences II
Experiments in Physics
 
Specialty Comprehensive
Courses
Agricultural Production Courses     Horticultural Technique
Plant Disease
Plant Improvement
Insects and Human Life
Crops and Energy Production
Living Soil
Food and Nutrition Courses     Introduction to Food Science
Food Safety
Seasonal Foods and Meal Mixed with Chinese Medicine
Nutrition and Sports
Nutrition and Health
Eating habit and prevention of chronic diseases
Food and Agriculture Business Courses     Study to Food and Agricultural Ethics
Study to Food and Agricultural Economics
Study to Symbiosis of Food and Agriculture
Study to Food System
Study to Agricultural Diversity
Study to Food and Agricultural History
Seminars and graduation research ●Freshman Seminar   ●Introductory Study for Graduation Research ●Graduation Research
General Education Subjects Common Courses ●Introduction to Liberal Arts      
Language Courses Japanese Reading and Writing
Basic English Ia
Basic English Ib
Basic English IIa
Basic English IIb
Practical English I
Practical English II
Chinese I
Chinese II
Basic English Conversation a
Basic English Conversation b
 
Overseas Language Training
IT Courses ●Information Literacy I
Information Literacy II
     
Physical Education Sports Science I
Sports Science II
     
Cultural Studies Psychology
Ethics
Philosophy
Regional Geography
Human Geography
Literature
Cultural Anthropology
Women’s Studies
   
Social Studies Study of Volunteer Activity
Introduction to Economics
Japanese Politics
Introduction to Jurisprudence
Introduction to Management
Tourism Studies
Japanese Constitution    
Natural Sciences Mathematics
●Bioethics
Life and Environment Earth and Space Science
Experiments in Earth Science
 
Career ●Career Design I Career Design II
Development of Mathematical Ability
Internship  
For International Students Japanese Culture and Society FI
Japanese Culture and Society FII
Japanese Reading FI
Japanese Reading FII
Japanese Grammar FI
Japanese Grammar FII
Japanese Reading and Writing FI
Japanese Reading and Writing FII
Comprehensive Japanese FI
Comprehensive Japanese FII
Japanese for Specific Purposes FI
Japanese for Specific Purposes FII
Japanese Conversation FI
Japanese Conversation FII
For Returning Students Japanese Culture and Society RI
Japanese Culture and Society RII
Japanese Reading R
Japanese Grammar R
Japanese Reading and Writing R
Comprehensive Japanese R
Japanese for Specific Purposes R
Japanese Conversation R

Laboratories

Developing industrial technologies for “food” and “agriculture” through life science and bioinformatics

The Department of Applied Biological Sciences has three specialized fields: “Plant Sciences,” “Microbiology,” and “Animal and Marine Biology,” and six laboratories. The Department of Applied Bioscience aims to solve issues such as food problems in the face of population growth and climate change by using molecular biology and bioinformatics. We also elucidate and explore the mechanisms of biological phenomena in plants, the diverse organisms that surround them, as well as the functions of the molecules that make up their organisms.

Department of Applied Biological Sciences
Department Head Takashi Shiina

Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology

Our group is focused on understanding how plants perceive and respond to environmental signals at the molecular level. We are specifically interested in the functions of chloroplasts, which are responsible for photosynthesis. By understanding chloroplast functions under various environmental stresses, we aim at improving plant stress resistance to increase the yield and quality of agricultural products. Students will study a wide range of plant physiology, including photosynthesis and environmental responses, and learn molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology in plants. We also work on applied research using chloroplast engineering.

Takashi SHIINA[Professor/Department Head]

Organelle crosstalk in sensing and responding to stresses

Plants may not move in the way animals do; however, they sense the environment and defend themselves without moving. Crosstalk between chloroplasts/mitochondria and the nucleus is crucial for plant cell development and stress responses. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ signaling have been shown to play a critical role in the organelle crosstalk. We are studying the molecular basis of organellar crosstalk in plant cells, focusing on ROS and Ca2+ signaling. This study would lead to new strategies to increase agricultural productivity.

Molecular stress physiology of plants
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Yusuke KATO[Lecturer]

Function of the chloroplasts for plant life

Photosynthesis is an essential chemical reaction for plant growth and occurs in a crucial organelle - the chloroplast. In response to environmental signals and leaf developmental status, chloroplasts change their morphology and functions dynamically. At the scenes of differentiation and homeostasis of chloroplast, the quality control of proteins, which are performed by many proteases, is necessary for proper chloroplast function. We focus on understanding the chloroplast protein homeostasis through the function of chloroplast proteases, which are necessary for plant growth. Our goal is to understand the regulation system and stress tolerance mechanisms of chloroplast at the molecular level.



Laboratory of Genome Biology

Genome changes were once thought to be rare events. However, now that genome analysis technology has advanced, it has become clear that the genome fluctuates frequently in farms and in the natural field. In our laboratory, we are studying the principles of genome construction and variation in plants and photosynthetic organisms, with a particular focus on the mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer across species barriers. The research results will lead to the understanding of biodiversity and evolution, and also to the development of genetic engineering technology of agricultural crops.

Junichi OBOKATA[Professor]

Study of the plant genome dynamics

Genomes and chromosomes are fluctuating and changing more frequently than we previously expected in both agricultural field and nature. My interest lies in how these changes cause the alteration of the transcriptome and gene birth. To this end, studies with experimental evolutionary systems and of endosymbiotic evolutionary phenomena of photosynthetic organisms are being conducted.

Dynamic Behavior of the Plant Genome and its Applications
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Mitsuhiro MATSUO[Lecturer]

Genome evolution and agriculture

I am investigating how genome information changes and how organisms evolve, especially about phenomena related to endosymbiotic evolution. With the knowledge for the symbiotic evolution and genomics, I work also on the applied researches to develop stress resistant plant and assess environments.

Genome Biology
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Laboratory of Applied Microbiology

Microorganisms can be found anywhere, and are closely related to food production and agriculture. Applied microbiology is a scientific field that deals with microorganisms and its application for our benefit. We are interested in small molecules produced by microorganisms, such as amino acids and secondary metabolites. Our goals are to improve production yields of such molecules and produce new derivatives with better biological functions. To this end, we explore new microorganisms and their functions, and analyze molecular mechanisms using chemical biology and genetic engineering approaches.

Masaru WADA[Professor]

Make microorganisms useful for human

Microorganisms are almost the only natural enemy of humankind, and at the same time, they bring benefits to us. "Applied microbiology" handled by the Faculty of Agriculture is one of the oldest biotechnology, which was established with the development of "brewing science" that manufactures fermented foods. Amino acids used in seasonings and feed additives are produced by fermentation using microorganisms, and we are researching ways to improve their productivity. The nutritional acquisition mechanism of bifidobacteria that are useful for human health are also being investigated.

Enzymatic Synthesis of Optically Active Compounds
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Naoki KATO[Associate Professor]

Analysis of why and how microbes produce bioactive metabolites

Microorganisms are prolific producers of bioactive secondary metabolites, which have been considered to be seeds of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Better understanding of why and how microorganisms produce bioactive metabolites with complex chemical structures is a requisite for exploitation of microbial resources. To address these questions, we study filamentous fungi and their secondary metabolites.

Exploration and engineering of fungal bioactive secondary metabolites
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Laboratory of Plant Environmental Microbiology

In nature, plants coexist and grow with many microbes. Some microbes infect plants and cause diseases, some do not cause diseases but are latently infectious, and some infect plants and help their growth. In order to understand these plant-microbe interactions, we are studying the growth and infection mechanisms of viruses and fungi that infect plants, as well as the reaction mechanisms by which plants recognize and counteract these viruses and fungi. Through these studies, we aim to establish control technology for plant growth.

Masanori KAIDO[Associate Professor]

Research on the strange cohabitants called viruses

Most organisms, from bacteria to humans, are infected with viruses. And plants, too. Plant viruses use clever means one after another to spread the infection systemically. However, infection does not necessarily mean sick. In many cases, viruses coexist with the plants, or even help the growth of the host plants. I am exploring the underlying mechanisms.

Research on the molecular mechanism of plant-virus interactions
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Shigeyuki TANAKA[Lecturer]

How do fungi manipulate plants?

Plants live together with many fungi. In some cases, fungi inhibit plant growth, while in other cases they promote it. My research focuses on the molecules that fungi secrete during symbiosis and parasitism, and is to elucidate what molecules they use to manipulate plants.

Molecular plant-fungal interactions
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Laboratory of Animal Science

The gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in physiological functions of animals such as the digestion/absorption of nutrients and immunity, among others. Thus, a gastrointestinal tract under dysbiotic conditions can cause several gastrointestinal disorders, as well as systemic diseases of the brain and metabolism. At the Laboratory of Animal Science, we investigate the functions and processes of the gastrointestinal tracts of animals using array research fields such as microbiology, immunology, and nutrition. Our laboratory aims to contribute to a healthy life in humans and animals by seeking information on how to make the gastrointestinal tract “healthy”. Our research includes not only wet-lab work but also dry-lab, in silico work, using computers.

研究イメージ(井上亮)
Ryo INOUE[Professor]

Making humans and animals healthier through gastrointestinal tracts

The malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal tract can cause not only gastrointestinal disorders, but also systemic diseases of the brain and metabolism. My research group investigates the functions and processes of the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals by analyzing their gut microbiotas and mucosal immunity. The experimental subjects of my research group are primarily livestock and humans.

Making humans and animals healthier through gastrointestinal tracts
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Rei YOSHIMOTO[Lecturer]

Search for novel gene expression mechanism

The genetic information is coded on DNA. The pre-mRNAs transcribed from genes are interrupted by non-coding sequences, so called ‘introns’. The introns are cut out by splicing and the spliced mRNA is translated into correct protein. For years, I have shown that seemingly unnecessary introns are actually important. I will teach basic chemistry, immunology and a bit molecular biology.

Biosynthesis of Circular RNA (circRNA)
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Laboratory of Marine Biology

There are so many unknown things and events in hydrosphere, that’s why we call it the last frontier on the planet. We are investigating biochemical and ecological aspects of those fascinating biome in hydrosphere, including ocean and freshwater. We are also interested in foods provided by fisheries, its process and nutrition.

Taro MASUDA[Associate Professor]

We have to take minerals from foods. Similarly, there are many enzymes that require some metals for its function. Aquatic organisms have vast diversity, and their molecule, too. I’m interested in such kind of enzymes with tremendous function that is accomplished by the interaction with metals. Also, I’m studying about ecology and phylogeography on mountainous stream fauna.

Utilization of enzymes from aquatic environments
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Taiga KUNISHIMA[Lecturer]

Studying the life histories of fish to conserve resources

The information about the life history of organisms, which includes their birth, reproduction, and eventual death, plays a crucial role in various fields. It serves as the foundation for determining appropriate management strategies for fisheries resources and the conservation of rare species, among other applications. Our research primarily focuses on fish species, aiming to uncover life history characteristics such as lifespan, growth patterns, and reproductive periods. We also emphasize the significance of nursery habitats in coastal areas. Furthermore, we are committed to sharing our research findings with the community and integrating them into both social and school education.

Exploring of life history of fishes and protecting their resources
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Assistant Professor/Research Assistant

Minori NUMAMOTO[Assistant Professor]

Microorganisms can adapt to environmental changes through stress signal perception, transduction, and gene expression. My goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of stress responses in fungi, to apply them to the production of fermented foods and useful chemicals, and to address the environmental issues using microorganisms.

Molecular mechanisms of stress response in industrial microorganisms
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Yoko ISHIZAKI[Research Assistant]

Metabolism in plastids and the unique lipid, “urushiol”

Chloroplasts are well-known as the site of photosynthesis, but they are also essential chemical factories for various compounds, such as starch, fatty acids, amino acids, isoprenoids, and plant hormones. Among these, we are particularly interested in a lipid called urushiol. Urushiol is a lipid produced only by Toxicodendron genus and is the main component of lacquer. In Japan, urushiol has been an essential material of the lacquer culture since the Jomon period (B.C.7000). It is thought that urushiol is produced by the cyclization of fatty acids produced in the plastids (chloroplasts), but the biosynthetic pathway and accumulation mechanism are still unclear. By clarifying the biosynthetic pathway of urushiol, we hope to play a role in the continuation of lacquer culture.




Career Paths and Certification

Systematically aquire knowledge on biological sciences and advanced technologies that support the development of modern agricultural science

The program aims to develop human resources with the ability to scientifically elucidate the relationship between target crops and their surrounding biological and non-biological environment, and to disseminate and provide guidance on agricultural production technology in the “field” of agricultural production, such as crop improvement, development of optimal cultivation methods and new production technology.

Certification

Junior high school teacher’s license (Science)
High school first-class teacher’s license (Science)

Career paths after graduation

The following career paths are envisioned for professionals with knowledge of life sciences, especially in agricultural sciences.

  1. Agriculture-related companies and organizations
    Technical and sales positions in seed, food and beverage, chemical, other agriculture-related companies
    Technical and sales positions in biotechnology-related companies
    Technical and sales positions in fisheries-related companies
  2. National and public agricultural institutions, and national or local governments
    Agricultural technicians at agricultural experiment stations, national and local government
  3. Professions in education
    Middle and high school science teachers
  4. Graduate School Entrance
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