Home > MAFF UPDATE No.744 (Published on January 28th, 2013)


MAFF UPDATE No.744 (Published on January 28th, 2013)

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 "Ten Outstanding Topics of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Results, 2012" 

Secretariat of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council selected "10 Outstanding Topics of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries Research Results, 2012" in cooperation with the Agricultural Technology Press Club.


"Ten Outstanding Topics of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Results, 2012"

Ten topics considered to have excellent outcomes and to draw high social interest were selected from all the last year's every
news articles on agriculture, forestry and fisheries research results, achieved by private sectors, universities, public research institutes and research institutes of independent administrative agencies. The selection was made in cooperation with the
Agricultural Technology Press Club (including 29 companies, such as agricultural-related specialist papers and magazines
related to agricultural technology).


The selected ten topics:

 1. Discovery of the cause at the molecular level why chalky grain develops at high temperature

     - Forward to the development of resistant varieties under high temperature conditions -

       The National Agriculture Research Center, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization; Faculty of Agriculture
       Niigata University; and RIKEN Plant Science Center have discovered the reason why chalky grain  develops in rice, 
       finding that a starch-hydrolyzing enzyme, α-amylase, is activated under high temperature conditions. A rice with suppressed 
       expression of genes of the starch-hydrolyzing enzyme, α-amylase, can reduce the development of chalky grain at high   
       temperature.   Therefore, improvement of resistant varieties to high temperature is expected.      

 2.  The world's first successful completion of the whole genome sequencing in tomato!

     - Expected to accelerate breeding -  

     Kazusa DNA Research Institute and the NARO Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science, National Agriculture and Food
     Research Organization, participated in the International Tomato Genome Consortium, and greatly contributed to completion
     of the tomato genome sequencing. Approximately 35,000 were discovered in the tomato genome, and from now on,
     improvement of breeding and cultivation technology is expected by clarifying the relationship between traits and genes.    

 3. Discovery of the gene responsible for low cadmium, koshihikari!

     - Expected to expand to crops other than rice cadmium reduction technology -

     The National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences and the University of Tokyo have developed koshihikari that
     absorbs very little cadmium, revealing a mutation which occurs in the gene of the protein absorbing iron, manganese and
     cadmium from the soil. From this, development of technology to cultivate low cadmium crops other than rice is expected.


4.  The world's first! Development of pig immunodeficiency

      - Expected to contribute to progress toward regeneration of human tissue and organs -

     The National Institute for Agrobiological Sciences, Prime Tech, Inc., and RIKEN have produced the world's first pig with
     deleted immune function by using gene recombination and somatic cell cloning technology. By taking advantage of this
     "pig immunodeficiency", drug discovery research for human, preclinical testing of new drugs, and the regeneration of
      human tissue and organs, can be expected.


5. Successful decoding of the genome and genetic sequence of the pig
     - Expected to accelerate improved breeding of pigs -  
    National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences and Advanced Technology Institute of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,
    Industry and Technology Development Association of the Institute of Agriculture, participated in the International Swine
    Genome Sequencing Consortium, decoding more than 90% (approximately 2.5 billion bases) of a base sequence of pig genome,
    and clarifying the existence of 25,000 genes. The result of this research is expected to accelerate the improvement of pig-meat,
    disease resistance and breeding, as well as the use of pig organ transplants such as from medical model animals.
 6.  99% removal of radioactive cesium from contaminated agricultural soils

      - Expected to significantly reduce the volume of contaminated soil -

      The National Agricultural Research Center, National Agricultural Research and Food Research Organization; Japan  
      International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences; Taiheiyo Cement Corporation; JGC Corporation; and Tokyo
      Electric Power Company, have developed a technique that is to separate and remove radioactive cesium by heat
      treatment with a reaction accelerator, making earthwork materials available from contaminated soil. It is significantly
      expected to reduce the volume of contaminated soil by utilizing this outcome.


 7.  Discovery of the world's first signal substances liberated on releasing a placenta after cow delivery!

      - Expected to improve calf survival rate and reduce the burden of labor on livestock farmers -
      NARO Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization; Konsen 
      Agricultural Experiment Station, Agriculture Research Department, Hokkaido Research Organization; and Kyoritsu
      Seiyaku Co., Ltd., for the first time in the world, have discovered signal substances liberated on releasing a placenta
     after cow deliveries. As a result of this achievement, the livestock farmer’s burden is expected to be reduced,
     such as induced delivery in the daytime without placental retention.                                                 

8. Development of high speed no-tilling seeder for silage corn  
    - Expected to achieve labor-saving cultivation of corn for animal feed -
    National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution
    has developed a no-tillage seeder for silage corn which is capable of high-speed work in collaboration with Agri Techno
    Yazaki Corporation. Its commercialization was expected in FY 2012, and also greatly expected to contribute to labor-saving
    in cultivation for silage corn.

9. Mineralization from organic resources in a short period of time, a new technology without energy requirement

    - Expected to significantly curb emissions of CO2 -

    National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization have developed a   
    technique to collect inorganic fertilizer ingredients in a short period of time, using microorganisms from organic resources,
    such as food waste, and livestock waste. It does not need electricity at the time of manufacture like other energy used for
    chemical fertilizer.  Significant decrease of CO2 emissions is expected by implementing effective commercialization and
    diffusion of this technology.


10. Development of new type of orchard sprayer for fruit

   - Significantly reduces spray drift and noise -

   Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization has
   developed a new orchard sprayer which equipped a new lift type of  nozzle pipes as a supporting machine for fruit trellis
   cultivation. It can spray close to the trellis and reduce the rotation speed of the fan and the engine. Since the developed 
   sprayer reduces spray drift and noise compared to conventional machines, the developed sprayer is expected to be used    
   for cultivation in urban neighborhoods, such as near residential areas and parks.


Public Relations
Administration Division
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Person in charge:  Furusawa, Seki
Representative: +81-3-3502-8111 (extension 5847)
Dial-in:               +81-3-3502-7407
Fax:                    +81-3-5511-8622    


担当者:MAFF Group

International Policy Planning Division 
International Affairs Department
Tel: +81-3-3591-9681
Fax: +81-3-5512-7652

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