Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO (NIFTS) conducts basic and innovative research in fruit tree and tea science in order to respond to the needs of consumers, producers and people involved in related industries, and contributes to the advancement of fruit and tea production and the enrichment of dietary life in Japan.


Genetic analysis reveals the domestication history of Japanese chestnut

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), in collaboration with Okayama University of Science and Akita Prefectural University has revealed that Japanese chestnuts are genetically divided into four groups such as wild chestnut from Kyushu, western Japan & Tohoku region and cultivated chestnut. The ancestors of wild chestnuts in western Japan and Tohoku region and present cultivated chestnuts were estimated to be diverged around the same time about 20,000 years ago. It has been suggested that Japanese chestnut may have been cultivated and selected artifically since ancient times. Read more

Real-time display of actual and estimated chilling hours

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has published "Display system of chilling hours for fruit trees" which can support cultivation management such as deciding the timing for covering and heating of plastic houses of fruit trees in forcing cultivation. This system uses air temperature data information delivered by Agro-Meteorological Grid Square Data, and accurately displays the date when the chilling is satisfied for any location. It can be easily operated via web browser on a smartphone or PC, and anyone can use it for free by registering. Read more

A technical report on the definition of matcha is published by ISO

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) played a leading role in the preparation of the technical report ISO TR 21380 on the definition of matcha, was published on April 11 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This technical report summarizes the cultivation method, manufacturing method, and history of matcha that has developed independently in Japan and is expected to improve the reputation of Japanese matcha in the international tea market.In the future, NARO will promote international standardization activities for matcha with the aim of developing an international standard. Read more

Identification of chromosomal regions regulating apple flesh browning

The National Agricultural Food Research Organization (NARO) and the Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center (AITC) have identified three chromosomal regions regulating apple flesh browning through large-scale genetic analysis and developed a DNA-marker to select non-browning factor on these regions. It is expected that this research result will significantly accelerate the breeding of non-browning apple cultivars.This research result is expected to accelerate the breeding of the new non-browning apple cultivars, leading to the development of new demand for apples. Read more

Development of a prototype of an automatic fruit harvesting robot

Aiming at the establishment of the labor-saving cultivation system, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), in collaboration with Ritsumeikan University and an auto parts manufacturer DENSO Corp., has developed a prototype of a harvesting robot that can pick a fruit at the same speed as a person. The video of the harvesting robot picking fruits is open to the public. We will continue the demonstration projects and aim to introduce the product to orchards around the country. Read more

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