Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Masanori Izumi

Tenure in FRIS 2014.4-2019.3

Masanori Izumi

Assistant professorLife and Environments

Mentor Information
Associate Professor
Jun Hidema (Graduate School of Life Sciences)
Research Fields Plant physiology, Cell biology
Research Subjects
  • Roles and molecular mechanisms of chloroplast autophagy
Academic Society Membership Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (JSSSPN), Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists (JSPP), Japanese Society for Biological Sciences in Space (JSBSS)
Research Outline  

Plants grow via photosynthetic CO2 assimilation. Mammals including humans grow via taking in photoassimilates such as rice, wheat or corn. Fossil fuels are derived from the accumulations of ancient photoassimilates. Thus, not only our foods for health but also the energy for industry finally depend on plants and its photosynthesis. Therefore, how plants live is important subject closely related to our life. In the present era, several international problems such as elevating atmospheric CO2 due to the consumption of fossil fuels or food crisis due to the population explosion increase the importance of the understandings and the enhancements of plant photosynthetic capacity.

The chloroplast is a specific organelle to plant cells for photosynthesis. We demonstrated that chloroplastic proteins are degraded via a mechanism called autophagy, by which membrane-sequestered proteins and organelles are delivered to the vacuole for degradation. Our recent studies indicated the direct involvement of chloroplast autophagy in the fluctuation of photosynthetic capacity. My future aim is the uncovering of the molecular mechanisms of chloroplast degradation including autophagy, and develop these achievement into the enhancement of photosynthetic capacity. Now, we are trying to new researches including pioneer imaging-analysis in plants for investigating the role and the mechanisms of chloroplast autophagy through the interdisciplinary collaborations. Furthermore, I believe that interdisciplinary sciences of our institute can create the new research subjects exploiting the power of plants.

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