The Research Center of Genetic Resources, NARO (NGRC) is in-charge of collecting and introducing valuable genetic resources from domestic and overseas sources, maintaining passport and evaluation data, and providing access to these resources for research and development for food and agriculture. The center also carries out research for efficient conservation of genetic resources, such as cryopreservation. To date, the conserved genetic resources include about 236,000 plant accessions, about 37,000 microorganism accessions, and about 2,000 animal accessions.


Vigna riukiuensis adsorbs and detoxifies sodium with special starch

Na(yellow dots) bound to starch granules(black objects) in chloroplasts(white structures) is detoxified

A research group from the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST), University of Tsukuba, the University of Tokyo and RIKEN, has revealed that Vigna riukiuensis, a closely related species of azuki bean, accumulates in its leaves special starch, which traps and sequesters sodium, making it harmless. This newly elucidated mechanism of salt tolerance is different from known mechanisms, such as the suppression of sodium influx into the leaves, and hence it is expected to be applied to the development of salt-tolerant crops in the future. Read more

Succeeded in avoiding the loss of landrace “Banshu shiro mizuna” suitable for the regional environment of Hyogo prefecture

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization(NARO) and Farmers Factory, an agricultural enterprise, has succeeded in avoiding the loss “Banshu shiro mizuna(Potherb Mustard)” from Hyogo prefecture. “Banshu shiro mizuna” is a landrace of Brassica rapa that has been inherited from generation to generation in Hyogo Prefecture. However, in recent years it has not been cultivated and it was about to lost due to lack of seeds to germinate. “Banshu shiro mizuna” can be produced again with the seeds harvested this time. This result is expected to lead to the succession of local food culture and the development of local communities. Read more

Seed longevity: How long do the seeds survive under appropriate storage conditions?

The Genebank Project is a national project of Japan operated by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) since 1985. The NARO Genebank is responsible for the conservation of plant genetic resources to provide materials for both scientific research and plant breeding to improve food and feed production. In this study, NARO analyzed the germination test results over 30 years and estimated the seed longevity, the time until the germination percentage falls below 85% of the initial value, of orthodox seeds of approximately 80,000 accessions from 50 species. Read more

Whole-Genome Sequencing of the NARO World Rice Core Collection (WRC)

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has completed and opened access to the whole-genome sequencing data of the 69 accessions of the World Rice Core Collection (WRC) in Research Center of Genetic Resources (NGRC). It enables users to identify the genome information of target trait in these accessions, and it is expected to promote various breeding and research projects. Read more