Centers & Labs

RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science

Ion Beam Breeding Team

Team Leader: Tomoko Abe (D.Agr.)

Ion beam breeding team studies various biological effects of fast heavy ions. It also develops new technique to breed plants and microbes by heavy-ion irradiations. Heavy ions can produce dense and localized ionizations in matters along their tracks. These localized and dense ionization can cause DNA double-strand breaks which are not easily repaired and result in mutation more effectively than single-strand breaks. Its research subjects cover physiological study of DNA repair, genome analyses of mutation, and development of mutation breeding of plants by heavy-ion irradiation. Some new cultivars have already been brought to the market.

Main Research Field

Complex systems

Related Research Fields

Environmental science / Interdisciplinary science and engineering / Biological Sciences / Biology / Agricultural sciences


  • Ion beam breeding
  • Heavy ion beam
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mutagenomics
  • DNA repair

Selected Publications

  1. Izumi M, Mizuno T, Yanagi K, Sugimura K, Okumura K, Imamoto N, Abe T, and Hanaoka F.:
    "The Mcm2-7-interacting domain of human mini-chromosome maintenance 10 (Mcm10) protein is important for stable chromatin association and origin firing"
    J. Biol. Chem. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.779371 (2017)
  2. Ishii K., Kazama Y., Morita R., Hirano T., Ikeda T., Usuda S., Hayashi Y., Ohbu S., Ikeda R., Nakamura Y., Abe T.:
    "Linear Energy Transfer-Dependent Change in Rice Gene Expression Profile after Heavy-Ion Beam Irradiation"
    PLOS ONE 11(7), e0160061 (2016)
  3. Ikeda T., Kojima T., Natsume Y., Kimura J., Abe T.:
    "Stable transmission of slow highly charged ions through tapered glass capillary with active discharging method for sub-micron sized beams"
    Applied Physics Letters 109, Article No. 133501 (2016)
  4. Yamada K., Suzuki H., Takeuchi T., Kazama Y., Mitra S., Abe T., Goda K., Suzuki K., Iwata O.:
    "Efficient selective breeding of live oil-rich Euglena gracilis with fliorescence-actived cell sorting"
    Sci.Rep.6, Article No. 26327 (2016)
  5. Kato M., Masamura N., Shono J., Okamoto D., Abe T., Imai S.:
    "Production and characterization of tearless and non-pungent onion"
    Sci.Rep.6, Article No. 23779 (2016)
  6. Kazama Y., Ishii K., Aonuma W., Ikeda T., Kawamoto H., Koizumi A., D. A. Filatov, M. Chibalina, R. Bergero, D. Charlesworth, Abe T., Kawano S.:
    "A new physical mapping approach refines the sex-determining gene positions on the Silene latifolia Y-chromosome"
    Sci.Rep. 6, Article No.18917 (2016)
  7. Katano M., Takahashi K., Hirano T., Kazama Y., Abe T., Tsukaya H., Ferjani A.:
    "Suppressor Screen and Phenotype Analyses Revealed an Emerging Role of the Monofunctional Peroxisomal Enoyl-CoA Hydratase 2 in Compensated Cell Enlargement"
    Front. Plant Sci. 7, Article 132 (2016)
  8. Morita R., Nakagawa M., Takehisa H., Hayashi Y., Ichida H., Usuda S., Ichinose K., Abe H., Shirakawa Y., Sato T., Fujiwara T. M., Itoh D.R., Abe T.:
    "Heavy-ion beam mutagenesis identified an essential gene for chloroplast development under cold stress conditions during both early growth and tillering stages in rice"
    Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 81(2), .271-282 (2016)
  9. Hirano T, Kazama Y, Ishii K, Ohbu S, Shirakawa Y, and Abe T.:
    "Comprehensive identification of mutations induced by heavy‐ion beam irradiation in Arabidopsis thaliana"
    Plant J. 82: 93-104 (2015)
  10. Abe T., Kazama Y., Hirano T.:
    "Ion beam breeding and gene discovery for function analyses using mutants"
    Nuclear Physics News 25, 30-35 (2015)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Tomoko Abe
Team Leader

Core Members

Yusuke Kazama
Contract Researcher
Hiroyuki Ichida
Contract Researcher
Kotaro Ishii
Contract Researcher
Yoriko Hayashi
Technical Staff I
Yuki Shirakawa
Technical Staff I
Ryouhei Morita
Technical Scientist
Katsunori Ichinose
Senior Technical Scientist
Hiroshi Abe
Senior Technical Scientist
Kazuhide Tsuneizumi
Senior Research Scientist
Masako Izumi
Senior Research Scientist
Teruyo Tsukada
Senior Research Scientist
Tokihiro Ikeda
Senior Research Scientist
Sumie Ohbu
Technical Staff II
Mieko Yamada
Technical Staff II
Taeko Wakana
Technical Staff II

Contact information

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

Email: tomoabe [at]

Related links

Recent research results

February 17, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
Putting highly charged ions on the right path