Researcher Information

KATO Atsushi

Specially Appointed Professor

We analyze the plant life at a molecular level.

Department of Biological Sciences, Cell Structure and Function


It has been thought that the life phenomenon was prescribed in DNA sequence basically. However, even if DNA sequence is the same, the life phenomenon indicating the different form is found and it is called epigenetics. I will analyze about this mechanism.

FieldPlant molecular genetics
KeywordArabidopsis thaliana, Genes, Genome, Epigenetic inheritance, DNA modification, Chromatin, non-coding RNA

Introduction of Research

Recent transcriptome analysis revealed a huge number of non-coding RNAs transcribed from genomes of various organisms. Many works showed that small RNAs are capable of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation and they are functionally relevant during development, differentiation, response to environment, etc. However, with a few exceptions, there is little insight into the relationship between long non-coding RNA molecules and physiological events in living organisms.

We are interested in the roles of long non-coding RNAs in plants. The aim of our study is to identify the functional long non-coding RNAs by phenotype-based screening assays and to understand the molecular mechanisms of their functions. We study forward genetics and reverse genetics to isolate the functional long non-coding RNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana. It was found that two candidate genes encoding long non-coding RNAs are involved in plant growth. Now, we are trying to reveal molecular mechanisms of their roles. Our goal is to clarify the various functions of RNAs in plants.

Academic degreeDr. of Science
Room addressScience Building 5 5-706