Nonomura Group • Plant Cytogenetics Laboratory

Molecular cytogenetics of plant germ-cell development


Research Summary

We study molecular mechanisms promoting the reproductive cycle, including meiosis, in rice. Meiosis is a highly orchestrated biological event to transmit genetic information stably, and to simultaneously create a genetic diversity via meiotic recombination. Elucidation of the underlying mechanisms is important also for applications to improve breeding efficiency and extend breeding use to wild species.

In addition, we engage in the conservation program of genetic rice resources, such as wild species and local varieties. It contains many precious strains going to be lost at their original habitats.

KNOX-BLH transcription factor complex maintains shoot stem cells in flowering plants. (A) The shoot apex in maize is indicated with a green circle. (B) Plant stem cell population, the shoot meristem (magenta). (C) Immunostaining of two transcription factors, KNOX and BLH. They form a heterodimer in shoot meristems to maintain stem cell indeterminacy. (D) Current view of KNOX downstream pathways.


Ono, S., Liu, H., Tsuda, K., Fukai, E., Tanaka, K., Sasaki, T., and Nonomura, K. I. (2018). EAT1 transcription factor, a non-cell-autonomous regulator of pollen production, activates meiotic small RNA biogenesis in rice anther tapetum. PLoS Genet 14, e1007238.

Tsuda, K., Abraham-Juarez, M. J., Maeno, A., Dong, Z., Aromdee, D., Meeley, R., Shiroishi, T., Nonomura, K. I., and Hake, S. (2017). KNOTTED1 cofactors, BLH12 and BLH14, regulate internode patterning and vein anastomosis in maize. Plant Cell 29, 1105-1118.

Liu, H., and Nonomura, K. I. (2016). A wide reprogramming of histone H3 modifications during male meiosis I in rice is dependent on the Argonaute protein MEL1. J Cell Sci 129, 3553-3561.

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