Plant growth and development is highly dependent on a small stem cell containing tissue called the shoot meristem, which is located at the tips of the plant body. The aim of our lab is to understand molecular and cellular mechanisms on how shoot meristems are formed, how organ formation from the meristems are controlled and how meristem activity is regulated upon various developmental and environmental cues, by using genetics, imaging techniques, biochemistry and genomics.
We focus on a set of transcription factors named CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON (CUC) 1, 2 and 3, whose activities are essential for shoot meristem formation in diverse developmental contexts. We are currently identifying and analyzing downstream genes of the CUC proteins and try to understand how the process of shoot meristem formation is regulated and coordinated.
The flower is a complex organ system specialized for reproduction and is formed from a modified meristem called the floral meristem. Through identifying factors responsible for floral meristem development, we try to uncover molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern flower formation.
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), Principles of pluripotent stem cells underlying plant vitality, "Establishment of plant hormone microenvironment during shoot stem cell formation," April 2020-March 2022.