Phytochemical Plant Molecular Science, Chiba University - HOME

A variety of chemicals produced by the plants (phytochemicals) have been used for medicines, food, fuel, and such as industrial raw materials. Therefore, we human beings are alive to be given the benefits from the plants, but it does not mean the plants providing the benefits to human beings when viewed from the plant side. Plants, as sessile organisms, have developed mechanisms making a wide variety of chemical constituents for their survival strategy in the course of evolution.
These plant chemicals with an enormous chemical diversity exhibit a variety of biological activities, originally playing indispensable roles such as protection against predators and attracting insets for pollination. This is the metabolic phenotype of plants (phenotype (P)). This metabolic phenotype is the function of the whole genome (G) of a given plant and the molecular response in accordance with the environment (E). Therefore, these three important elements are represented by a simple equation such as the following.

■ Phenotype (P) = Genome (G) × Environment (E)

Our research project aims to clarify genomic basis of production of phytochemicals, their chemical structures and activities, and their environmental responses, by revealing the principles behind the chemical diversity and unity of plant metabolites. In addition, we shall apply the obtained knowledge to the development of new pharmaceuticals and reagents, the development of health-functional food, production of industrial raw materials such as cosmetics, perfumes and fuels.