Research Division

Division of Genetic Resource Diversity

Professor : Nitaro Maekawa
Professor : Teruyuki Matsumoto
Assistant Professor : Naoki Endo
  • Collection and taxonomy of fungus/mushroom genetic resources and their diversity
  • Discovery of genes and mutations that are relevant to beneficial mushroom traits
  • Molecular breeding of mushrooms based on genome information
More than 9,700 fungal species have been described in the world, though this is estimated to be only 7% of existing species. Even among macrofungi (agaricoid, aphyllophoroid fungi, etc.) that form visible, large fruiting bodies, less than half of the species have been identified. One of the topics in this research division, which focuses on mushrooms, is their taxonomy and diversity analysis. Fungal cultures are also collected as genetic resources. Another focus is the discovery of beneficial mushroom traits and mutations (sporeless mutation, etc.) from mushroom genetic resources and their practical use to develop a molecular breeding system based on mushroom genome information

Division of Bioresource Preservation and Evaluation

Professor : Akira Nakagiri
Associate Professor : Kozue Sotome
  • Isolation, cultivation, and preservation of various fungal cultures as genetic resources
  • Identification, classification, and phylogenetic systematics of fungi based on their genetic information
  • Database construction of fungal genetic resources
Basic research is carried out to isolate, culture, and preserve strains of various types of mushrooms that inhabit various regions and substrates. By integrating information about the physiological properties, cultural characteristics, and genetic information of the strains, we aim to construct a high-quality culture collection and its database. Because identifying mushrooms is very difficult for people other than mushroom taxonomy experts, we aim to establish a useful tool for easy identification. We are challenging to develop the TUFC strain database for easy and highly accurate taxonomic identification system that integrates morphological and genetic information.

Division of Mushroom Cultivation

Professor : Norihiro Shimomura
Professor : Tadanori Aimi
  • Investigation of the effective use of various grain residues for mushroom cultivation
  • Elucidation of the basic mechanisms of fruiting body formation
  • Artificial cultivation of mycorrhizal mushrooms using symbiotic systems
In this division, we aim to enhance the value of the genetic resources of mushrooms by artificially cultivating the fruiting bodies of a wide variety of useful mushrooms. The research includes screening strains that show a high production of fruiting bodies using various substrates such as grain residues and lignocellulose materials. It also includes increasing the nutritive values and functional components in fruiting bodies by modifying the cultivation substrates. We aim to produce fruiting bodies of mycorrhizal mushrooms by artificially constructing symbiotic associations with hosts. These studies would allow us to stably supply the fruiting bodies of useful mushrooms, leading to the increased use of the genetic resources of mushrooms and the development of novel pharmaceuticals.

Division of Functional Fungal Physiology and Pharmacology

Professor : Toshio Ohta
Associate Professor : Naoki Kitamura
Associate Professor : Kenji Takahashi
  • Study of poisons derived from fungi mushrooms
  • Determine the physiological function of materials from fungi mushrooms
  • Research the action mechanisms of functional materials
Tens of thousands of fungi mushrooms are present on the earth. However, the research related to their functions has focused on only a few of them. Fungi mushrooms are valuable resources that are not yet explored for functional materials and medicines. Muscarine and muscimol from Amanita muscaria are famous poisonous ingredients that are used as medicine. This division was recently organized as a research section to evaluate the functional importance of fungi mushrooms that are held within this center.

Division of Applied Fungal Chemistry

Professor : Fumio Watanabe
Professor : Tsuyoshi Ichiyanagi
Professor : Atsushi Ishihara
Junior Associate Professor : Kumiko Osaki-Oka
  • Characterization of vitamins and their related compounds from edible mushrooms
  • Chemical analysis of interactions between plants and phytopathogenic fungi
  • Search for bioactive compounds from poisonous mushrooms
  • Development of plant disease control methods by bioactive compounds from mushrooms
The goal of this division is to promote the use of the bioactive compounds (including toxic materials) that exist in various types of fungi and mushrooms in the food and pharmaceutical industries and pesticides. Generally, bioactive compounds are extracted from mycelia, fruit bodies, and culture broth of fungi and mushrooms; purified; and identified using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and other analytical methods. We devise novel methods to rapidly analyze these bioactive compounds. To promote the industrial use of these compounds, we also research preparation methods for safer and more effective compounds than the isolated compounds.