Molecular tools for our future

Within various living organisms, there exists a great resource of hidden materials with unknown functions that can be expected to contribute to agriculture and human life in the near future. If the 20th century was considered an era propelled by engineering, then the 21st century will be the one pioneered by life science and resources from living organisms.

This department covers educational research fields that focuses on exploring valuable life phenomena at the molecular level (nucleic acids, proteins, organic compounds), and the potential for various biosynthetic production to benefit mankind. As the expectation of life science rapidly grows, we are committed to developing human resources that can meet these challenges for our future society.


  • Department of Applied Bioscience is comprised of following 8 fields.

  • It’s a field which becomes a bridge between agriculture – practical science – and cutting-edge life science.

  • The keyword is Molecular (gene, protein, organic compound) .

  • Each laboratory gathered to “comprehend life phenomena at the molecular level,” manifold special studies are proceeding, such as breeding of rice, insects and plants. 
    All laboratories are aiming at contribution to “applied” technologies which can be returned to society.

Study in Department

  • Rice production in Hokkaido

    Hokkaido is a major producer of rice, boasting Japan’s largest crop acreage and yield. Most rice grown in Japan is from the Japonica variety, which has a rounder pill-like shape and stickier texture compared to the Indica or Javanica varieties.

    Rice cultivation in Hokkaido has developed over the years by overcoming the harsh climate that includes cold temperatures and heavy snowfall. Since the variety called Kirara 397 debuted in 1989, breeding has been used to develop other types of Hokkaido rice that taste better and withstand the cold climate better. The Nanatsuboshi and Yumepirika varieties are highly acclaimed for their glossy appearance, sticky texture and great balance of sweetness. Both have received the Toku-A ranking, the highest possible, in taste tests performed by the Japan Grain Inspection Association. Currently, Hokkaido is cultivating rice in a more safe and secure manner by taking advantage of its colder climate to use less agricultural chemicals.

    Northern extensions of rice cultivation limit
    Summer average temperature lines in Hokkaido (left)
    Years of progress for rice varieties to north area in Hokkaido (Right)

  • Genetic Engineering

    Current research activities: molecular and genetic basis of cytoplasmic male sterility in sugar beet; mechanism of recombination and rearrangement in sugar beet chromosomes; molecular and genetic basis of sex determination mechanism in spinach.

  • Applied Molecular Entomology

    Current research activities: molecular biology research on insects, insect viruses and entomopathogenic bacteria; insect biotechnology for production and pest control.

  • Molecular Biology

    Current research activities: molecular genetic studies of regulation of translation and mRNA stability; Regulatory mechanisms of intracellular trafficking of nutrient transporters in higher plants.

  • Molecular Enzymology

    Current research activities: Kinetics and reaction mechanism of carbohydrases (degrading enzymes and synthesizing enzymes); analysis of structure of enzyme; molecular analysis of carbohydrases; enzymatic synthesis of novel oligosaccharides, megalosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

  • Molecular and Ecological Chemistry

    Current research activities: analyses of biological interactions mediated by plant metabolites; biochemical studies on defence mechanisms functioning in the ecosystem; investigations of physiologically active natural and synthetic compounds.

  • Ecochemical Analysis

    Current research activities: Study on impact of Bio-environmental change on greenhouse gas concentrations using remote sensing technique.

  • Environmental Molecular Bioscience

    Current research activities: functional analyses of the nuclear oncogene products; molecular mechanisms of regulation among proliferation, differentiation, transformation and apoptosis in higher animal cells; analyses of the target genes for endocrine disrupters.