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RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science Ion Beam Breeding Team

Team Leader: Tomoko Abe (D.Agr.)

Research Summary

The Ion Beam Breeding Team develops tailor-made breeding technology to increase the mutation rate and to adjust the damage size of the target gene by selecting the species, speed, and number of the ions. The Team studies the pathways for repairing DNA damage caused by ion irradiation and develops technologies leading to additional increase in mutation rate. Responsible genes of rice are isolated from selected mutants such as salt tolerant, high yield, dwarf and early-flowering kind. In mutation breeding, carbon-ion irradiation for plants and iron-ion irradiation for microbes are recommended. By collaborating with breeders, our study contributes to breeding varieties for practical use.

Main Research Fields

  • Agricultural Sciences

Related Research Fields

  • Environmental Science
  • Complex Systems
  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Science in genetic and breeding
  • Plant molecular biology / Plant physiology
  • Quantum beam science


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

Selected Publications

  • 1.Hirano T., Sato Y., Ichinose K., Yamada M., Hayashi Y., Fukunishi N., Abe T.;
    "Mutant induction in gametophytes of Undaria pinnatifida (Phaeophyceae) by heavy ion beam irradiation"
    Phycol. Res. 68, 63-69 (2020)
  • 2.Morita R., Ichida H., Ishii K. Hayashi R., Abe H., Shirakawa Y., Ichinose K., Tsuneizumi K., Kazama T. Toriyama K., Sato T. and Abe T.:
    "LONG GRAIN 1: a novel gene that regulates grain length in rice"
    Mol. Breed. 39 135-142 (2019)
  • 3.Ichida H., Morita R., Shirakawa Y., Hayashi Y. and Abe T.:
    "Targeted exome sequencing of unselected heavy-ion beam-irradiated populations reveals less-biased mutation characteristics in the rice genome"
    Plant J, 98, 301-314 (2019)
  • 4.Takeshita T., Ivanov N. I., Oshima K., Ishii K., Kawamoto H., Ota S., Yamazaki T., Hirata A., Kazama Y., Abe T., Hattori M., Bišová K., Zachleder V. and Kawano S.:
    "Comparison of lipid productivity of Parachlorella kessleri heavy-ion beam irradiation mutant PK4 in laboratory and 150-L mass bioreactor, identification and characterization of its genetic variation"
    Algal Res., 35, 416-426 (2018)
  • 5.Koide Y., Ogino A., Yoshikawa T., Kitashima Y., Saito N., Kanaoka Y., Onishi K., Yoshitake Y., Tsukiyama T., Saito H., Teraishi M., Yamagata Y., Uemura A., Takagi H., Hayashi Y., Abe T., Fukuta Y., Okumoto Y., and Kanazawa A.:
    "Lineage-specific gene acquisition or loss is involved in interspecific hybrid sterility in rice"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 115, E1955-E1962 (2018)
  • 6.Kazama Y., Ishii K., Hirano T., Wakana T., Yamada M., Ohbu S. and Abe T.:
    "Different mutational function of low- and high-linear energy transfer heavy-ion irradiation demonstrated by whole genome re-sequencing of Arabidopsis mutants"
    Plant J. 92: 1020-1030 (2017)
  • 7.Sawada R., Hirano T., Iimure K., Abe T. and Ozeki Y.:
    "Low Polyphenol Oxidase Mutant Induced by 12C6+ Ion Beam Irradiation to Protoplasts of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)"
    Hort. Res. (Japan) 15: 347-353 (2016)
  • 8.Yamada K., Suzuki H., Takeuchi T., Kazama Y., Mitra S., Abe T., Goda K., Suzuki K. and Iwata O.:
    "Efficient selective breeding of live oil-rich Euglena gracilis with fluorescence-activated cell sorting"
    Sci. Rep. 6, Article No. 26327 (2016)
  • 9.Kato M., Masamura N., Shono J., Okamoto D., Abe T. and Imai S.:
    "Production and characterization of tearless and non-pungent onion"
    Sci. Rep. 6, Article No. 23779 (2016)
  • 10.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)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Tomoko Abe
Team Leader

Core members

Masako Izumi
Senior Research Scientist
Tokihiro Ikeda
Senior Research Scientist
Kazuhide Tsuneizumi
Senior Research Scientist
Teruyo Tsukada
Senior Research Scientist
Hiroshi Abe
Special Temporary Technical Scientist
Ryouhei Morita
Technical Scientist
Yoriko Hayashi
Technical Staff I
Yuki Shirakawa
Technical Staff I
Sumie Ohbu
Technical Staff II
Mieko Yamada
Technical Staff II
Katsunori Ichinose
Special Temporary Technical Scientist

Contact Information

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