Professor of Biodiversity
The many plants that we see growing around us seem to be doing so completely on its own through photosynthesis. However, because plants are non-ambulatory, they thrive through their association with many other living organisms, such as animals and fungi. Insects that carry pollen, and microorganisms that live symbiotically on roots and are involved in nutrient absorption, are examples of organisms that are essential for the survival of a plant.
A phenomenon known as “coevolution” can be seen between plants and the organisms that have mutualistic relationships with them. In coevolution, two or more species reciprocally affect each other’s evolution. Coevolution has a large impact on the various characteristics of plants. The major theme of my research is to ascertain how the relationships of plants with another living organism impact the evolution of plants.
The Japanese natural environment is one of the particularly precious environments of the world. It contains many unique plants, and there are various interactions between such plants and other living organisms.
Our lab carries out fieldworks primarily in the Tohoku region, centering on Yamagata Prefecture. It conducts research on how plants evolve through their relationships with insects and microorganisms.