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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science Stress Adaptation Research Unit

Unit Leader: Son Phan Lam Tran (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Son Phan Lam Tran(Ph.D.)

The population of the earth is rapidly increasing, setting food security one of the major issues in the world, especially in developing countries. Additionally, climate changes also put a great burden on food production. Environmental stresses, such as drought, high salinity, soil erosion and pollutants are the factors affecting yield and stability of crop production, thereby threatening sustainable agriculture. Our unit has interest in (i) studying the roles of plant growth regulators and their interactions in abiotic stress responses, as well as (ii) translational genomics aiming to enhance crop productivity under adverse environmental stress conditions.

Main Research Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Agricultural Sciences


  • Plant abiotic stress tolerance
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Hormone biology
  • Legume crops
  • Plant biotechnology and genetic engineering

Selected Publications

  • 1.Nasr Esfahani, M., Inoue, K., Chu, HD., Nguyen, KH., Ha, CV., Watanabe, Y., Burritt, DJ., Herrera-Estrella, L., Mochida, K., Tran, LS.
    "Comparative transcriptome analysis of nodules of two Mesorhizobium-chickpea associations with differential symbiotic efficiency under phosphate deficiency"
    The Plant Journal 91:911-26. (2017)
  • 2.Li, W., Herrera-Estrella, L., Tran, LS.
    "The yin-and-yang of cytokinin homeostasis and drought acclimation/adaptation"
    Trends Plant Sci 21:548-50. (2016)
  • 3.Nasr Esfahani, M., Kusano, M., Nguyen, KH., Watanabe, Y., Ha, CV., Saito, K., Sulieman, S., Herrera-Estrella, L., Tran, LS.
    "Adaptation of the symbiotic Mesorhizobium–chickpea relationship to phosphate deficiency relies on reprogramming of whole plant metabolism"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:E4610-9. (2016)
  • 4.Nguyen, KH., Ha, CV., Nishiyama, R., Watanabe, Y., Leyva-González, MA., Fujita, Y., Tran, UT., Tanaka, M., Li, W., Seki, M., Schaller, GE., Herrera-Estrella, L., Tran, LS.
    "Arabidopsis type B cytokinin response regulators ARR1, ARR10, and ARR12 negatively regulate plant responses to drought"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:3090-5. (2016)
  • 5.Li, W., Tran, LS.
    "Are karrikins involved in plant abiotic stress responses?"
    Trends Plant Sci 20:535-8. (2015)
  • 6.Ha, S., Tran, LS.
    "Understanding plant responses to phosphorus starvation for improvement of plant tolerance to phosphorus deficiency by biotechnological approaches"
    Crit Rev Biotechnol 34:16-30. (2014)
  • 7.Ha, CV., Leyva-Gonzalez, MA., Osakabe, Y., Tran, TU., Nishiyama, R., Watanabe, Y., Tanaka, M., Seki, M., Yamaguchi, S., Dong, NV., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K., Herrera-Esterella, L., Tran, LS.
    "Positive regulatory role of strigolactone in plant responses to drought and salt stress"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:851-6. (2014)
  • 8.Nishiyama, R., Watanabe, Y., Leyva-Gonzalez, MA., Ha, CV., Fujita, Y., Tanaka, M., Seki, M., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K., Herrera-Estrella, L., Tran, LS.
    "Arabidopsis AHP2, AHP3 and AHP5 histidine phosphotransfer proteins function as redundant negative regulators of drought stress response"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:4840-5. (2013)
  • 9.Ha, S., Vankova, R., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K., Tran, LS.
    "Cytokinins: metabolism and function in plant adaptation to environmental stresses"
    Trends Plant Sci 17:172-9. (2012)
  • 10.Nishiyama, R., Watanabe, Y., Fujita, Y., Le, DT., Kojima, M., Werner, T., Vankova, R., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K., Kakimoto, T., Sakakibara, H., Schmülling, T., Tran, LS.
    "Analysis of cytokinin mutants and regulation of cytokinin metabolic genes reveals important regulatory roles of cytokinins in drought, salt and ABA responses, and ABA biosynthesis"
    Plant Cell 23:2169-83. (2011)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Son Phan Lam Tran
Unit Leader

Core members

Cuong Duy Tran
International Program Associate
Yasuko Watanabe
Technical Staff I

Contact Information

E610 East Research Building, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa, 230-0045,

Email: Son.Tran [at] riken.jp