Institute of Crop Science, NARO


Development of new cultivars to support Japanese agriculture

The Institute of Crop Science, NARO (NICS) is the core institute of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) addressing various issues facing Japanese agriculture through the development of new crop cultivars and the establishment of basic technologies to achieve this goal. So far, NARO has developed and released many crop cultivars which are now widely cultivated. However, recent developments in crop improvement methods using DNA markers and advances in genome analysis has greatly accelerated many breeding strategies. We will use these promising technologies to elucidates the relationship between the genes involved and their biological functions towards the advancement of breeding methods, development of new breeding materials and novel cultivars, and eventually establish a continuous pathway from genomics to actual breeding of rice, wheat, barley, soybean and other crops.

NICS and Cultivar Development

YearHistoryPrincipal outcome
1893 National Agricultural Experiment Station was established in Tokyo  
1924 Satellite experiment field was opened in Saitama prefecture.  
1950 Translocated to Saitama prefecture and reconstracted to National Agricultural Experiment Station for Kanto area  
1960   Breeding of a high yield rice cultivar "Kusabue"
1960   Breeding of a cultivar "Tamayutaka" for steamed and dried sweet potate 
1961 Reconstracted to National Agricultural Experiment Station   
1966    Development of virus-free crops
1969   Breeding of a cultivar "Kashimamugi" for roasted barley tea 
1973   Breeding of a good-taste rice cultivar "Nihonmasari"
1981 Translocated to Tsukuba area and Renamed to National Agriculture Research Center  
1985   Breeding of a good taste sweet popate cultivar "Beniazuma"
1987   Development of a method for haploid wheat production
1995   Breeding of a low amylose content and good taste rice cultivar "Milky Queen"
1999   Breeding of a wheat cultivar "Ayahikari" for Japanese noodles
2001 National Agricultural Research Organization was established. Institute of Crop Science was one of the NARO Institutions.*  
2001   Breeding of a sweet potate cultivar "Quick Sweet" suitable for microwave cooking
2001   Breeding of a purple sweet potate cultivar "Purple Sweet Lord"
2001   Breeding of a high lignan content sesami cultivar "Gomazou"
2002   Breeding of a wheat cultivar "Tamaizumi" for Chenese noodles
2004   Cultivation of genetic modified and high tryptophan content rice in a secruded field
2005   Publication of databease for Japanese rice cultivars
2006 Reorganised to National Agricultural and Food Research Organization  
2007   Breeding of an animal feed rice cautivar "Momiroman"
2007   Breeding of a wheat cultivar "Yumeshihou" for bread making
2007   Breeding of a partially allergen-less soybean cultivar
2008   Breeding of good taste and high yield rice cultivar "Akidawara"
2009   Publication of soybean proteome database
2009   Development of near isogenic soybean lines with pod shattering resisitance using a DNA marker
2010   Breeding of a virus-resistant cultivar "Kashima Goal" for roasted barley tea
2010   Improved method for high loaf volume of brown rice bread
2011   Development of a DNA marker for control of wheat germination

*: National Agriculture Research Center was divided to NARO Agricultural Research Center and NARO Institute of Crop Science.