Returning to Soil: Building a Method for Degradation and Metabolism Evaluation of Biomass

June 20, 2013

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed a pioneering method for evaluating degradation and metabolism of soil microbiota, employing multiple analysis tools for environmental and biomass samples to reveal differences in the complex (supramolecular) structure of lignocellulose. Researchers clarified that these differences exert a significant effect on the symbiotic-metabolism in soil microbiota.

This evaluation technology will be useful for the development of industrial applications such as biodegradation purification systems for waste biomass treatment. Additionally, it is expected to contribute to the field of environmental metabolomic studies by establishing an analytical platform for examining the effects on the symbiotic relationship between organisms and between organisms and microorganisms and feeding behaviors, the land-ocean nutrient circulatory system, and other symbiotic relationships that are currently garnering great attention.


Original article
PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066919. Print 2013.
T. Ogura, Y. Date, J. Kikuchi,
"Differences in cellulosic supramolecular structure of compositionally similar rice straw affect biomass metabolism by paddy soil microbiota".

Jun Kikuchi
Team Leader
Environmental Metabolic Analysis Research Team, Metabolomics Research Group