The evolution of wood decay fungi in the forest ecosystem

HORI, ChiakiAssociate Professor

Environmental Molecular Biology
Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Forest Biochemistry
Understanding the co-evolution of fungi and plants in the forest ecosystem using multi-omics, biochemical and molecular biology-based approaches
Carbon cycle in forest ecosystem
Filamentous fungi (mushroom and mold)
Tree cell wall
wood-degrading enzymes
Biological interactions

How can fungi degrade the recalcitrant plant cell wall, and how might they have evolved over millions of years in the forest ecosystem? In our laboratory, we aim to understand the co-evolution of wood decay fungi and trees, both of which are important players in the terrestrial carbon cycling in the forest ecosystem, by elucidating the unique abilities of those wood decay fungi, such as Basidiomycetes (also known as mushrooms), to degrade plant cell wall components (i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and others). We also aim to utilize the newly discovered wood decay potentials (plant cell wall-degrading enzyme systems) of fungi for biomass utilization for various chemicals and fuels productions.


We try to elucidate the unique molecular mechanisms that underlie the interaction between fungi and trees in terrestrial environments using genome-based molecular biology, biochemistry, and other cutting-edge approaches. You will learn the following techniques in our laboratory, cultivation of fungi and plants, genome analyses, transcriptome analyses (RNA-seq), proteome analyses (LC-MS/MS) together with both in vivo and in vitro enzyme productions and enzyme assays using spectrophotometer, HPLC, and GC-MS. Furthermore, you can improve the following skill sets, a professional communication skills, writing a scientific paper, and giving a professional research-based presentation. I am very happy to work with highly motivated students, and am willing to support your scientific career.


  • “植物の多様性に合わせたキノコの進化” 堀千明, 岩田茉奈. 生物工学誌 バイオミディア 96(12) 78 2018年 https://www.sbj.or.jp/sbj/sbj_biomedia_2018.html
  • “木材腐朽担子菌のゲノム・ポストゲノム解析から植物細胞壁と分解酵素の共進化を考える” 堀千明, 五十嵐圭日子, 鮫島正浩. 化学と生物 53(6) 381-388, 2015年 https://katosei.jsbba.or.jp/index.php?aid=393
  • “Omics analyses and biochemical study of Phlebiopsis gigantea elucidate its degradation strategy of wood extractives.” Mana Iwata, Ana Gutiérrez, Gisela Marques, Grzegorz Sabat, Philip J Kersten, Daniel Cullen, Jennifer M Bhatnagar, Jagjit Yadav, Anna Lipzen, Yuko Yoshinaga, Aditi Sharma, Catherine Adam, Christopher Daum, Vivian Ng, Igor V Grigoriev, Chiaki Hori* Scientific reports 11(1) 12528-12528 *Corresponding author
  • “Identifying transcription factors that reduce wood recalcitrance and improve enzymatic degradation of xylem cell wall in Populus” Chiaki Hori*, Naoki Takata, Pui Ying Lam, Yuki Tobimatsu, Soichiro Nagano, Jenny C. Mortimer, Dan Cullen. Scientific Reports 10(1) 22043-22043 *Corresponding author

Hori Laboratory


Faculty of Environmental Earth Science
Section of Environmental Biology

Grad School

Graduate School of Environmental Science
Division of Biosphere Science

Contact Information

Room C709-2, Environmental Science Building C
Email: chori [atmark] ees.hokudai.ac.jp

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