Department of Bioresource Science

Humans have harnessed a vast diversity of plants, animals, and microorganisms that inhabit and flourish on the land or in the ocean—not just to sustain our livelihoods and activities, but also to support and enrich our daily lives. For centuries, humans have applied a great deal of effort and wisdom to find ways to grow and raise bioresources so as to maximize their potential and to develop environments suited for their habitation and growth, while at the same time improving such precious resources to better serve our purposes at any given time. These efforts have paid off to an extent, and an abundance of food and other necessities are within easy reach in some countries. On a global scale, however, humans are faced with the harsh reality that food production is not likely to keep pace with the population explosion of this century, and the excessive use of bioresources is severely damaging the global environment and destroying ecosystems. As this is the case, the citizens of earth are required to confront the momentous challenge of ensuring the stable production of bioresources and constantly increasing their productivity and quality. At the same time, we must achieve harmony with the environment and reduce negative impacts on ecosystems.

The Department of Bioresource Science offers a broad range of educational opportunities, from foundational knowledge to applied technology, in order to develop individuals who are ready to tackle this immense challenge. The Department covers as many as thirty-one specialized fields (see below for details) to study a diverse range of organisms, including food crops and other plant resources, livestock and other animal resources, and seafood and microorganisms in the ocean, from multifaceted perspectives on macro and micro levels, i.e., from populations and individuals to cells and molecules. Relatedly, efforts are being made to carry out various research projects, in a bid to protect each bioresource from invasive enemies, maintain preferred growth/habitation environments, and ensure high productivity in adverse environments. Some of those projects even attempt to create new species.

Due to the broad range of subjects and disciplines within this Department, the educational curriculum is structured into four course options as outlined in the table below. During the first and second years, students initially study bioresource science in its entirety. As they enter the third year, students select one of the courses based on their growing interests and affiliations. In their fourth year, students further narrow down their focus by choosing specific fields within their selected course.

Course Fields
Plant Production Science Crop Science, Plant Breeding, Vegetable and Ornamental Horticulture, Pomology (Fruit and Fruit Tree Science), Plant Production Systems, Plant Production Control, Quality Analysis and Assessment, Food Quality Design and Development, Weed Science, Tropical Agriculture, Soil Science
Animal Science Animal Breeding and Genetics, Reproductive Biology, Nutritional Science for Animals, Animal Physiology and Functional Anatomy, Animal Husbandry Resources, Bioresource Informatics
Marine Life Science Fisheries and Environmental Oceanography, Marine Stock Enhancement Biology, Marine Microbiology, Marine Environmental Microbiology, Marine Bioproduct Technology, Marine Biological Function
Fundamental and Frontier Biology Plant Genetics, Plant Physiology, Crop Evolution, Plant Pathology, Insect Ecology, Insect Physiology, Terrestrial Microbial Ecology, Ecological Information


Keywords for Each Field of Affiliation

Field Keywords
Crop Science Food production and the environment, crop productivity and genotype-environment interaction, environmental stress tolerance, growth and development prediction modeling, information measurement, environmentally conscious crop production technology
Plant Breeding Breeding of wheat and soybean, genomic and genetic analyses of important agronomic traits, reproductive biology of crop plants, plant-microbe interaction in soil, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, utilization of genetic resources
Vegetable and Ornamental Horticulture Environment control and growth and development control, development of functional vegetables, elucidation of flower color mutation mechanisms, breeding of useful varieties, application of organic matter to plants in an unsterile environment by using chlorination and insoluble phosphoric acids
Pomology (Fruit and Fruit Tree Science) Fruit tree physiology of flowering and fruit set, fruit development/ripening mechanisms, fruit tree breeding and biotechnology, fruit tree molecular genetics, postharvest physiology of fruit
Plant Production Systems Agricultural production ecosystem, paddy-upland rotation, nitrogen cycle, environmentally friendly agricultural production system, remote sensing
Plant Production Control Genetic seedlessness in fruits vegetables, mechanism of selfish genes, elucidation of floral regulatory mechanism, cross combination and seed development, elucidation of fruit development and senescence mechanisms, development of postharvest technology, development and application of next-generation type crop model, farm system for generating crop and renewable energy together
Plant Genetics Wheat, cell genetics, genome, chromosome, disease resistance, polyploid, cytoplasmic inheritance, population genetics, evolution, hybrid incompatibility, speciation, bioinformatics
Plant Physiology Regulation of growth phase transition in response to environmental signals, flowering, long-distance systemic signaling in development (florigen), sexual reproduction process (especially germline specification and gametogenesis), origin and evolution of regulatory systems for plastic development
Crop Evolution Evolution of crop plants and their wild relatives, plant genomics and genetics, co-evolution of plants and humans, coevolution of plants and pathogens, bioinformatics, ethnobotany, genetic resource management, fieldwork, natural history
Quality Analysis and Assessment Molecular mechanism on gustation, flavor, sensory evaluation, palatability, functional compound, mass spectrometry, metabolomics
Food Quality Design and Development Molecular design, Food proteins and enzymes, Food allergy, Environmental allergy, Plant protein utilization, Antibody, Protein engineering
Animal Breeding and Genetics Genetics of qualitative and quantitative traits, systems biology, omics analysis, big data analysis, genetic assessment, breed improvement, individual classification, preservation of animal resources and rare animals
Reproductive Biology Oocytes, preimplantation embryos, zygotic genome  activation, cell differentiation, reprogramming, epigenetics, developmental origins of health and disease, mammalian embryogenesis, in vitro fertilization, transgenic animals, genome edition
Nutritional Science for Animals Comparative animal nutrition, nutritional physiology, adipocyte differentiation, vitamin nutrition, mineral metabolism, metabolic regulation by bioactive substances in food and feed
Animal Physiology and Functional Anatomy Evaluation of animals’ physiological and producing functions, animals’ ecophysiology and global warming, environmental pollution and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, cryopreservation of ovaries
Animal Husbandry Resources Biological and economic assessment of animal production systems, comparison of animal production systems from around the world, environmentally sound animal production, evaluation of animal genetic resource conservation plans
Bioresource Informatics Research on how to extract, analyze, and use the information on the utilization and conservation of bioresources in terrestrial and marine environments using big data, biotelemetry, and environmental DNA. 
Fisheries and Environmental Oceanography Coastal ocean, conservation of the marine environment, fisheries oceanography, marine ecosystem mechanisms, transportation of organisms/substances, interactions among rivers, coastal seas, and open seas, mechanisms of eutrophication and poor oxygenation, stable isotope ratio, material cycle
Marine Stock Enhancement Biology Metamorphosis, hormone, organismal physiology, morphological abnormality, early life history, population structure, species diversity, interspecific hybridization
Marine Microbiology Marine hyperthermophilic archaebacteria, deep-sea hydrothermal environment, physiology and ecology of extremophiles, extremozymes, biohydrogen production, physiology and ecology of denitrifying bacteria, genomic analysis and genetic diagnosis of poisonous microalgae
Marine Environmental Microbiology Our research interests include microalgal productions of ω-3 fatty acids, carotenoids and biofuels by genetic analyses and engineering. In addition, we have studied ecophysiology and evolution of ‘earth-eating’ microorganisms inhabiting various extreme marine environments such as deep-sea hydrothermal fields.
Marine Bioproduct Technology Unused resources, functional food, search for physiologically active substances, physiology of highly unsaturated fatty acids, molecular control of lipid metabolism
Marine Biological Function Marine biological function, gene manipulation for fish, genome editing, fish genetics, genetic improvement of cultured fish, functional food, health promoting compounds in marine products, marine peptide, biological active compounds.
Weed Science Weed management, life-history traits of weeds, herbicide-resistant biotypes of weeds, invasion/colonization and dissemination of invasive weeds, crop-weed complexes, mimetic weeds
Tropical Agriculture Agricultural resources, meteorological environment, water dynamics of soil and plants, environmental stress, cropping system analysis, changes in land utilization, distribution and transmission of crops, environment and physiology of tree crops, tropical horticulture, GIS
Soil Science Degradation of tropical land and arid land and soil management technology, material dynamics in the soil ecosystem, evaluation of and restoration from soil pollution, space variation analysis of soil characteristic values, analysis of soil nutrient supply mechanisms
Plant Pathology Plant pathogenic fungi, plant viruses, host specificity, plant immunity, virulence factors, generation of resistant plants, coevolution, molecular biology, omics, bioinformatics
Insect Ecology Evolutionary ecology, behavioral ecology, reproductive strategies, social insects, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, self-organizing system, longevity
Insect Physiology Physiology, endocrinology, molecular genetics, genomics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, evo-devo, ecoevo-devo
Terrestrial Microbial Ecology Mycology, fungal genetics, fungal adhesion and penetration mechanism, mode of action of fungicide
Ecological Information Interaction among agricultural fields, natural enemies, integrated pest management, biological control, spider mites and minute pest insects, molecular ecology, genetic variation, evolution of adaptive characters, insecticide resistance