High-Impact Research Achievements for 2018

The MAFF Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council in collaboration with the agricultural technology association selects 10 research achievements every year with high-impact and significant contribution to society. The high-impact research achievements are selected from research outputs of national research institutes, public research institutes, universities and private enterprises published in newspapers. Seven researches from NARO were among the 10 research achievements selected for 2018.

Development of disaster prevention support system for water reservoirs

In the event of an earthquake or heavy rain, we developed a system that predicts the risk of collapse of water reservoirs in real time, distributes the predicted information to people involved in disaster prevention through the internet and e-mail, and shares such information to related agencies on disaster management. The system facilitates prompt emergency measures that can be taken to minimize human casualties and extensive damage to water reservoir facilities.

Breeding of rice cultivar 'Minachikara' for feed use

Rice feed is attracting attention in Japan as a domestic forage crop that can lead to effective utilization of paddy fields. We have developed a new rice cultivar 'Minachikara' suitable for feed use, and can be cultivated at low cost and minimal labor. This cultivar is expected to contribute to stable production of rice feed grain in the western region of Japan because of its high grain-yield ability, resistance to rice stripe disease and the white-backed plant hopper, and high lodging tolerance."

High Speed Topical Fertilizer Applicator

A high speed Topical Fertilizer Applicator for cabbage which can apply fertilizer at two different depths in one ridge at a same time with 5.0km/s speed was developed. It is equipped with GNSS and hence no overlap occurs when applying fertilizer. It is equipped with sensor that detects clogs in the fertilizer feeder hose.

Pest control for strawberry cultivation by vapor heat treatment

In strawberry cultivation, early prevention is crucial for controlling the invasion of various pests and the spread of diseases in plant nurseries. We have developed a vapor heat treatment system to control spider mites, powdery mildew and other diseases even without the use of pesticides. As the processing time and temperature can be precisely adjusted, it can facilitate total eradication of various pests and diseases.

Elucidating the genome sequence of Satsuma mandarin

The whole genome sequence of Satsuma mandarin, one of the major early maturing citrus variety in Japan was decoded. A total of 29,024 genes were identified including 91 genes involved in coloring and fruit-setting of citrus fruits. The genome sequence information and characterized genes will facilitate for improving the efficiency in the citrus breeding program, productivity, and quality of citrus fruits.

Simulation models for evaluation of optimal pesticide management strategy

Simulation models were used to evaluate the optimal management strategy to retard the appearance of insecticide-resistant insect pests. A series of simulations involving multiple insecticides, mating behavior of insect pest accompanying migration, and the timing of exposure to insecticides showed that application within generation is often more effective in delaying the development of resistance. This study will contribute to the usage standard of pesticides that delays longer and more effectively the resistance of insect pests to the existing or coming active components.

A reference genome sequencing of wheat was achieved

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) achieved the sequencing of the reference genome bread of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The wheat reference sequence represents 94% of the genome and ordered along the 21 chromosomes with the highest quality, and presents the precise location of 107,891 genes. This sequence will pave the way to produce wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced quality and improved sustainability. Japanese research group consisting of NARO, Kyoto University and others, joined the IWGSC, and was in charge of the chromosome 6B.