Researcher Information

FUJITA Tomomichi


Listen to the voice of plants!

Department of Biological Sciences, Cell Structure and Function


Molecular mechanisms of development, environmental responses and evolution in plants. We aim to unlock the secrets of plant cells and to understand how plants control their growth, differentiation and environmental responses.

FieldPlant Biology, Plant Physiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Evolutinonary and Developmental Biology, Astrobiology
KeywordCross-talk between growth and stress response, cell division, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell fate, totipotency, plant stem cell, asymmetric cell division, cell polarity, cell-cell communication, dynamics of chloroplasts, abscisic acid, environmental adaptation, land plant evolution, multicellularity, extreme environments, space experiments, bryophytes, Physcomitrella patens, Arabidopsis thaliana

Introduction of Research

Plants exist in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes and act as primary producers to support a multitude of life forms, including us humans. Our understanding of plants, however, remains far from complete. How are plants born and how do they take shape? How do they respond to environmental changes? Unlike animals, plants lack the ability to move on their own and have therefore evolved unique responses and developmental mechanisms. We want to understand these unique aspects of plant biology from the molecular and cell levels to the individual level and to find a way to help plants and humans to coexist. Here are main topics in our lab. 1. Investigate control mechanisms of plant proliferation, differentiation, regeneration and totipotency. 2. Examine the crosstalk between environmental responses and developmental programs – aiming to develop plants that grow well in extreme environments. 3. Explore the mechanism of multicellularity. 4. Unravel the evolutionarily diverse mechanisms of plant morphology.

Our plant, Physcomitrella patens
Asymmetric cell division; how distinct cell fates are produced?
How positional information between cells is regulated?
Decal of the Space Moss project
Our moss grown in a “space moss” chamber

Representative Achievements

Bao, L., Inoue, N., Ishikawa, M., Gotoh, E., Teh, O.-K., Higa, T., Morimoto, T., Ginanjar, E.F., Harashima, H., Noda, N., Watahiki, M., Hiwatashi, Y., Sekine, M., Hasebe, M., Wada, M. and Fujita, T. (2022) A PSTAIRE-type cyclin-dependent kinase controls light responses in land plants. Science Advances, 8, eabk2116
Kume, A., Kamachi, H., Onoda, Y., Hanba, T.Y., Hiwatashi, Y., Karahara, I., and Fujita T. (2021) How plants grow under gravity conditions besides 1 g: Perspectives from hypergravity and space experiments that employ bryophytes as a model organism. Plant Molecular Biology, 107, 279–291
Kitagawa, M., and Fujita, T. (2015) A model system for analyzing intercellular communication through plasmodesmata using moss protonemata and leaves. Journal of Plant Research, 128, 63-72.
Banks, J.A., Nishiyama, T., Hasebe, M., Bowman, J.L., Gribskov, M., dePamphilis, C., Albert, V.A., Aono, N., Aoyama, T., Ambrose, B.A., Ashton, N.W., Axtell, M.J., Barker, E., Barker, M.S., Bennetzen, J.L., Bonawitz, N.D., Chapple, C., Cheng, C., Correa, L.G.G., Dacre, M., DeBarry, J., Dreyer, I., Elias, M., Engstrom, E.M., Estelle, M., Feng, L., Finet, C., Floyd, S.K., Frommer, W.B., Fujita, T., Gramzow, L., Gutensohn, M., Harholt, J., Hattori, M., Heyl, A., Hirai, T., Hiwatashi, Y., Ishikawa, M., Iwata, M., Karol, K.G., Koehler, B., Kolukisaoglu, U., Kubo, M., Kurata, T., Lalonde, S., Li, K., Li, Y., Litt, A., Lyons, W., Manning, G., Maruyama, T., Michael, T.P., Mikami, K., Miyazaki, S., Morinaga, S., Murata, T., Mueller‐Roeber, B., Nelson, D.R., Obara, M., Oguri, Y., Olmstead, R.G., Onodera, N., Petersen, B.L., Pils, B., Prigge, M., Rensing, S.A., Riano-Pachon, D.M., Roberts, A.W., Sato, Y., Scheller, H.V., Schulz, B., Schulz, C., Shakirov, E.V., Shibagaki, N., Shinohara, N., Shippen, D.E., Sorensen, I., Sotooka, R., Sugimoto, N., Sugita, M., Sumikawa, N., Tanurdzic, M., Theissen, G., Ulvskov, P., Wakazuki, S., Weng, J.-K., Willats, W.W.G.T., Wipf, D., Wolf, P.G., Yang, L., Zimmer, A.D., Zhu, Q., Mitros, T., Hellsten, U., Loque D., Otillar, R., Salamov, A., Schmutz, J., Shapiro, H., Lindquist, E., Lucas, S., Rokhsar, D., Grigoriev, I.V. (2011) The Selaginella Genome Identifies Genetic Changes Associated with the Evolution of Vascular Plants. Science, 332, 960-963.
Fujita, T., Sakaguchi, H., Hiwatashi, H., Wagstaff, S.J., Ito, M., Deguchi, H., Sato, T., Hasebe, M. (2008) Convergent evolution of shoots in land plants: lack of auxin polar transport in moss shoots. Evolution and Development, 10, 176-186.

Related industries

Agricultural industory, Horticulture industry, Food industry, Healthcare industry
Academic degreePh. D.
Self Introduction

I was born in Nara and have a younger sister. I like taking a walk or jogging outside, enjoying a feeling of nature.

Academic background1988 B.S., Waseda University
1990 M. S., University of Tokyo
1993 Ph. D., University of Tokyo
1993-1994 Postdoctoral fellow, NIH, Japan
1994-1998 Postdoctoral fellow, Purdue University, IN
1998-1999 Postdoctoral fellow, Kyoto University
1999-2005 Assistant Prof., NIBB
2005-2016 Associate Prof., Hokkaido University
2016- Professor, Hokkaido University
Affiliated academic societyJapanese Society of Plant Physiologist, Botanical Society of Japan, Japanese Society for Biological Sciences in Space, Molecular Biology Society of Japan, Bryological Society of Japan, Lichenological Soceity of Japan, Society of Evolutionary Studies, Japan, international Molecular Moss Science Society (iMOSS)
ProjectEnvironmental response and utilization of mosses in space-Space Moss (JAXA and others)
Room addressScience Building 5 5-614