Environmental Response Research Unit

Main Research Fields :
Related Research Fields :
Environmental Science / Agricultural Sciences
Keywords :
Potassium / Cesium / Transporter and ion channel / Abiotic stress tolerance / Phytoremediation
Project :
Innovative Plant Biotechnology

Plant nutrient use eficiency, seaweeds survival mechanism, developing methods for removal of unwanted metals from the environment

Unit Leader

Ryoung Shin Ph.D.

Ryoung Shin

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Ph.D., Graduate School of Biotechnology, Korea University, Korea
Postdoctoral Fellow, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA
Assistant Domain Member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA
Unit Leader, Regulatory Network Research Unit, RIKEN Plant Science Center
Unit Leader, Regulatory Network Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
Unit Leader, Environmental Response Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (-current)


RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
Environmental Response Research Unit


1-7-22 Suehiro, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045 Japan
#C604 6F Central Research Building

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Environmental Response Research Unit
Potassium is one of major nutrients for plant growth, and lack of it has entailed increased use of fertilizers. However, increased fertilizer usage does not result in comparable production increase, and excess fertilizer run-off creates soil pollution. Growing ecological awareness necessitates new solutions to increase agricultural production without endangering the environment, and achieve food security via sustainable agriculture. As solutions to these issues, we aim to elucidate the components of plant potassium sensing and deficiency signaling in Arabidopsis using various approaches. In parallel, we are using a marine red macroalga, Pyropia yezoensis (susabinori) in order to understand the mechanisms that enable seaweeds to survive in salty condition and to compare these mechanisms with those of the land plant Arabidopsis thaliana in terms of Na+/K+ homeostasis. In addition, to establish a new method of phytoremediation, chemical screenings to elucidate the chemicals which affect cesium and heavy metals uptake in plants were conducted and the characterization of selected chemicals are on-going using multidisciplinary approaches. As an extension, the roles of these selected chemicals for the removal of unwanted metals contamination are studying. We are also intensively elucidating regulatory components of unwanted metals uptake that selectively inhibit/suppress/prevent uptake of metals from contaminated soil.


  1. Dissection of signaling cascades in plant response to nutrient deprivation
  2. Improvement of plant nutrient use efficiency in response to nutrient limitation
  3. Understanding of marine macroalgae life in the marine environment
  4. Establishment of remediation methods for land contaminated with unwanted metals using plants and chemical compounds
Regulatory components of nutrient sensing and metabolic process in plants
Roadmap to develop high efficiency cesium phytoremediation