Metabolic Systems Research Team


Last Update: Apr. 5, 2017

Research Outline

Elucidation of plant metabolism by comprehensive analyses of metabolites and transcripts

Metabolism-the process of nutrient assimilation and energy/material production-is the basis of life. Hence, it is regulated by complicated mechanisms in the plant cell. To elucidate the metabolism of the whole plant as a system, we generate data-driven hypotheses based on comprehensive data of gene expression and metabolite accumulation obtained by transcriptomics and metabolomics analyses, and confirm the hypotheses experimentally.

Contents of Research

  1. Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) / Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas
    "Multidimensional Exploration of Logics of Plant Development"
  2. Mathematical modeling of metabolism based on metabolome data
  3. Technological development of widely targeted metabolomics and its application to genome-wide studies
  4. Metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria
  5. Functional elucidation of metabolism-related genes
  6. Elucidation of regulatory mechanism of amino acid metabolism
    Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST, Research theme "Elucidation of amino acid metabolism in plants based on integrated omics analyses" (Researcher, Masami Yokota Hirai) [End date: March 31, 2013]

Results of Research

  1. Based on coexpression analysis using the transcriptome data, we identified candidate genes involved in glucosinolate biosynthesis, and confirmed the predicted function of the candidates by widely targeted metabolomics. (Hirai et al. PNAS 2007)(Fig. 1)
  2. We generated cyanobacteria producing useful materials for low-carbon society by metabolic engineering using sugar catabolism regulators. (Osanai et al. JBC 2011, Azuma et al. PCP 2011)
  3. We identified loci involved in metabolite accumulation by QTL and genome-wide association studies based on widely targeted metabolomics.