Welcome to the Kakui Lab!

Kakui Lab is located at the Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, University of Tokyo. I am interested in plant reproduction, particularly focusing on pollen research and the mating system of various plant species.  The research overview is listed below. You can see publications from here.

If you are interested in researching at Kakui lab, please contact Hiroyuki Kakui directly from here. Prospective postdocs or Ph.D. students from abroad may be eligible for fellowship programs of JSPS, including a two-year postdoc fellowship.

Research topics

What gene controls pollen number?

Pollen number is important for plants to consider reproductive strategy. In 2020, we found REDUCED POLLEN NUMBER1 for the pollen number control gene using GWAS, genome editing, and evolutional analysis.
Now, we are looking for new pollen number genes.  

Overcoming pollen allergy

Pollen affects our health. Pollinosis (hay fever or pollen allergy) is a global health problem. Cryptomeria japonica is the most severe pollinosis source but is the most popular timber in Japan. Pollen-free (Male sterile) mutant is important to provide wood without pollinosis. In 2023, we found a causal gene of Male Sterility 4 from C. japonica.

Enhance crop production by controlling pollen number

For hybrid crop production, the seed parent does not need pollen because it results in pollen contamination. On the other hand, the pollen parent needs to produce huge amounts of pollen for efficient pollination. Now we are looking for the pollen number controlling gene with wheat by genetic analysis and molecular biology.