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Chief Scientist Laboratories Geobiology and Astrobiology Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Shino Suzuki (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Shino Suzuki

In our laboratory, we currently focus on understanding and utilizing microorganisms that inhabit the subterranean biosphere. Subterranean microorganisms are essential components of the Earth's composition and are believed to retain characteristics of early life, yet much of this microbial diversity remains unexplored. Our approach encompasses a combination of fieldwork, microbial cultivation, physiological function analysis, and bioinformatics to elucidate the unknown ecology and metabolic functions of microorganisms inhabiting their natural environment. Through these studies, our primary goal is to contribute to our understanding of origin of life and early life evolution, expand into the field of astrobiology, and engage in the exploration and exploitation of functional genes present in extremophilic microorganisms.

Main Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Biology


  • Geomicrobiology
  • bioinformatics
  • Origin and evolution of life
  • Microbial or genetic resources
  • Astrobiology

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. *M. K. Nobu, R. Nakai, S. Tamazawa, H. Mori, A. Toyoda, A. Ijiri, S. Suzuki, K. Kurokawa, Y. Kamagata, H. Tamaki.
    "Unique H2-utilizing lithotrophy in serpentinite-hosted systems"
    The ISME Journal volume 17, 95–104 (2023)
  • 2. *L. J Bird, J.G. Kuenen, M. R. Osburn, N. Tomioka, S. Ishii, C. Barr, K. H. Nealson, S. Suzuki*.
    "Serpentinimonas gen. nov., Serpentinimonas raichei sp. nov., Serpentinimonas barnesii sp. nov. and Serpentinimonas maccroryi sp. nov., hyperalkaliphilic and facultative autotrophic bacteria isolated from terrestrial serpentinizing springs"
    IJSEM 71: 8 (2021)
  • 3. *P. Fryer, C.G. Wheat, T. Williams, C. Kelley, K. Johnson, J. Ryan, W. Kurz, J. Shervais, E. Albers, B. Bekins, B. Debret, J. Deng, Y. Dong, P. Eickenbusch, E. Frery, Y. Ichiyama, R. Johnston, R. Kevorkian, V. Magalhaes, S. Mantovanelli, W. Menapace, C. Menzies, K. Michibayashi, C. Moyer, K. Mullane, J. Park, R. Price, O. Sissmann, S. Suzuki, K. Takai, B. Walter, R. Zhang, D. Amon, D. Glickson, S. Pomponi.
    "Mariana serpentinite mud volcanism exhumes subducted seamount materials: implications for the origin of life."
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 278: 2165 (2020)
  • 4. *S. Suzuki*, K.H. Nealson, S. Ishii.
    "Genomic and in-situ transcriptomic characterization of the candidate phylum NPL-UPL2 from highly-alkaline highly-reducing serpentinized groundwater."
    Frontier in Microbiology 9: 3141.(2020)
  • 5. *S. Ishii#*, S. Suzuki#, A. Tenney, K. H. Nealson and O. Bretschger.
    "Comparative metatranscriptomics reveals extracellular electron transfer pathways conferring microbial adaptivity to surface redox potential changes"
    The ISME Journal volume 12, 2844–2863 (2018)
  • 6. *S. Suzuki#*, S. Ishii#*, T. Hoshino, A. Rietze, A. Tenney, P. L Morrill, F. Inagaki, J. G. Kuenen, K. H Nealson.
    "Unusual metabolic diversity of hyperalkaliphilic microbial communities associated with subterranean serpentinization at The Cedars."
    The ISME Journal 11: 2584-2598. (2017)
  • 7. *S. Suzuki*, J. G. Kuenen, K. Schipper, S. van der Velde, S. Ishii, A. Wu, D. Y. Sorokin, A. Tenney, X.Y. Meng, P. L. Morrill, Y. Kamagata, G. Muyzer, K. H. Nealson.
    "Physiological and genomic features of highly alkaliphilic hydrogen-utilizing Betaproteobacteria from a continental serpentinizing site"
    Nature Communications 5: 3900. (2014)
  • 8. *S. Suzuki*, S. Ishii, A. Wu, A. Cheung, G. Wanger, A. Tenney, J. G. Kuenen, and K. H. Nealson.
    "Microbial diversity in The Cedars, an ultra-basic, ultra-reducing and low salinity serpentinizing ecosystem."
    Proc Ntrl Acad Sci USA. 110: 15336-41. (2013)
  • 9. *S. Ishii#*, S. Suzuki#, T. M. Norden-Krichmar, A. Tenney, P. S. G. Chain, M. B. Scholz, K. H. Nealson and O. Bretschger.
    "A novel metatranscriptomic approach to identify gene expression dynamics during extracellular electron transfer."
    Nature Communications 4: 1601. (2013)
  • 10. *S. Suzuki, T. Aono, K.B.Lee, T. Suzuki, C. T. Liu, H. Miwa, S. Wakao, T. Iki and H. Oyaizu.
    "Rhizobial Factors Required for Stem Nodule Maturation and Maintenance in Sesbania rostrata-Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571 Symbiosis"
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73:6650-6659 (2007)

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Shino Suzuki
Chief Scientist

Contact Information

Bioscience Building in Wako
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: shino.suzuki [at] riken.jp