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

Team Leader: Tomoko Abe (D.Agr.)

Research Summary

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 Fields

  • Complex Systems

Related Research Fields

  • Environmental Science
  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Agricultural Sciences


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

Selected Publications

  • 1.Yamatani H., Kohzuma K., Nakano M., Takami T., Kato Y., Hayashi Y., Monden Y., Okumoto Y., Abe T., Kumamaru T., Tanaka A., Sakamoto W. and Kusaba M.:
    "Impairment of Lhca4, a subunit of LHCI, causes heigh accumulation of chlorophyll and the stay-green phenotype in rice"
    J. Exp. Bot., 69, 1027-1035 (2018)
  • 2.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)
  • 3.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)
  • 4.Ishii K., Kazama Y., Morita R., Hirano T., Ikeda T., Usuda S., Hayashi Y., Ohbu S., Ikeda R., Nakamura Y. and Abe T.:
    "Linear Energy Transfer-Dependent Change in Rice Gene Expression Profile after Heavy-Ion Beam Irradiation"
    PLOS ONE 11(7), e0160061 (2016)
  • 5.Ikeda T., Kojima T., Natsume Y., Kimura J. and 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)
  • 6.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 fliorescence-actived cell sorting”
    Sci.Rep.6, Article No. 26327 (2016)
  • 7.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)
  • 8.Kazama Y., Ishii K., Aonuma W., Ikeda T., Kawamoto H., Koizumi A., D. A. Filatov, M. Chibalina, R. Bergero, D. Charlesworth, Abe T. and 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)
  • 9.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. and 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)
  • 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
Hiroyuki Ichida
Contract Researcher
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