MORIKAWA, MasaakiProfessor

Environmental Molecular Biology
Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology
Hyperthermophiles & Extreme thermophiles for studying evolution of prokaryotic life
Hydrocarbon degrading bacteria for bioremediation technology
Biofilms for studying microbial strategy for survival and multi-cellular behavior

We have discovered various unique environmental microorganisms, including hyperthermophilic archaea, hydrocarbon degrading bacteria, biosurfactant producing bacteria, and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (Fig.). We are trying to understand their function and activities on the molecular level so that we may add knowledge to “how the prokaryotic life has been evolved” and “how it has contributed to biological elements circulation over billion years.”

We also aim to develop a new low-carbon biotechnology that rationally couples plant photosynthetic activity with useful heterotrophic bacterial activities in the rhizosphere. This project is a part of “Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program FY2011-2015” supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency.

Fig. Biofilms of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (green) on an aquatic plant root (orange)

The password to the Morikawa laboratory is, “THIS IS A WONDERFUL MICRO-WORLD!”


  • Yamaga F, Washio K, Morikawa M. (2010)Sustainable biodegradation of phenol by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus P23 isolated from the rhizosphere of duckweed Lemna aoukikusa.Environ. Sci. Technol. 44(16), 6470-6474
  • Morikawa M. (2010)Dioxygen activation responsible for oxidation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon compounds: current state and variants. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 87(5), 1596-1603 (Review)
  • Kato T, Miyanaga A, Kanaya S, Morikawa M. (2009)Alkane inducible proteins in Geobacillus thermoleovorans B23BMC Microbiol. 9, 60
  • Morikawa M. (2006)Beneficial biofilms formation by industrial bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and related species. J. Biosci. Bioeng. 101(1), 1-8 (Review)
  • Roongsawang N, Hase K, Haruki M, Imanaka T, Morikawa M, Kanaya S. (2003)Cloning and characterization of the gene cluster endocing arthrofactin synthetase from Pseudomonas sp. MIS38. Chem. Biol. 10(9), 869-880
  • Morikawa M, Izawa Y, Rashid N, Hoaki T, Imanaka T. (1994)Purification and characterization of a thermostable thiol protease from a newly isolated hyperthermophilic Pyrococcus sp.Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60(12), 4559-4566

MORIKAWA Laboratory


Faculty of Environmental Earth Science
Section of Environmental Biology

Grad School

Graduate School of Environmental Science
Division of Biosphere Science

Contact Information

Email: morikawa [atmark] ees.hokudai.ac.jp

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