Centers & Labs

Global Research Cluster

Kibo In-cabin Research Team

Team Leader: Akihiko Nakano (D.Sci.)
Akihiko  Nakano(D.Sci.)

Our team aims at utilizing the Pressurized Vessel of the Japan Experimental Module "Kibo" which comprises the International Space Station. The Pressurized Vessel will be used for a wide variety of in-cabin biological/life science researches, including responses of higher animals and plants to microgravity and high-dose cosmic rays, reproduction of mammals, and development of relevant microscopic systems, which will be conducted in collaboration of research groups within and outside of RIKEN.

Main Research Field

Space Science

Related Research Fields

Biology & Biochemistry / Molecular Biology & Genetics / Plant & Animal Science / Microbiology / Multidisciplinary

Research Subjects

  • A variety of biological experiments on orbit under microgravity and high-dose cosmic rays

Selected Publications

  1. Masakazu Iwai, Makio Yokono, and Akihiko Nakano:
    “Visualizing structural dynamics of thylakoid membranes”
    Sci. Rep. 4:3768 (2014).
  2. Yasuko Hashiguchi, Daisuke Yano, Kiyoshi Nagafusa, Takehide Kato, Chieko Saito, Tomohiro Uemura, Takashi Ueda, Akihiko Nakano, Masao Tasaka, and Miyo Terao Morita:
    "A unique HEAT repeat-containing protein SHOOT GRAVITROPISM 6 is involved in vacuolar membrane dynamics in gravity sensing cells of Arabidopsis inflorescence stem."
    Plant Cell Physiol. 55:811-822 (2014).
  3. Kazuo Kurokawa, Midori Ishii, Yasuyuki Suda, Akira Ichihara, and Akihiko Nakano:
    “Live cell visualization of Golgi membrane dynamics by super-resolution confocal live imaging microscopy”
    Methods Cell Biol. 118:235-242 (2013).
  4. Motoki Tominaga, Atsushi Kimura, Etsuo Yokota, Takeshi Hamaguchi, Teruo Shimmen, Keiichi Yamamoto, Akihiko Nakano, and Kohji Ito:
    "Cytoplasmic streaming velocity as a plant size determinant."
    Dev. Cell 27:345-352 (2013)
  5. F. Yatagai, M. Honma, A. Ukai, K. Omori, H. Suzuki, T. Shimazu, A. Takahashi, T. Ohnishi, N. Dohmae, N. Ishioka:
    "Preliminary results of space experiment: Implications for the effects of space radiation and microgravity on survival and mutation induction in human cells"
    Adv. Space Res. 49:479-486 (2012)
  6. Chieko Saito, Tomohiro Uemura, Chie Awai, Motoki Tominaga, Kazuo Ebine, Jun Ito, Takashi Ueda, Hiroshi Abe, Miyo Terao Morita, Masao Tasaka, and Akihiko Nakano:
    "The occurence of bulbs, a complex configuration of the vacuolar membrane, is affected by mutations vacuolar SNARE and phospholipase in Arabidopsis"
    Plant J. 68:64-73 (2011)
  7. Hashiguchi, Y., Niihama, M., Takahashi, T., Saito, C., Nakano, A., Tasaka, M., and Morita, M.T.:
    "Loss-of-function mutations of retromer large subunits suppress the phenotype of zig mutant that lacks Qb-SNARE VTI11"
    Plant Cell 22, 159-172 (2010).
  8. Morita, M.T., Saito, C., Nakano, A., and Tasaka, M.:
    "endodermal-amyloplast less 1 is a novel allele of SHORT-ROOT"
    Advances Space Res. 39, 1127-1133 (2007).
  9. Niihama, M., Uemura, T., Saito, C., Nakano, A., Sato, M.H., Tasaka, M., and Morita, M.T.:
    "Conversion of functional specificity in Qb-SNARE VTI1 homologues of Arabidopsis"
    Curr. Biol. 15, 555-560 (2005).
  10. Morita, M.T., Kato, T., Nagafusa, K., Saito, C., Ueda, T., Nakano, A., and Tasaka, M.:
    "Involvement of the vacuoles of the endodermis in the early process of shoot gravitropism in Arabidopsis"
    Plant Cell 14, 47-56 (2002).

Contact information

S411 Bioscience Building,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: nakano [at] riken.jp