Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

Tsukuba, Japan

Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

Tsukuba, Japan
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Noguchi J.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2017

The impact of deer overabundance is a worldwide problem. Along with habitat expansion and population increase, damage by sika deer to the forest ecosystem and agriculture has become a serious issue in Japan. Deer also transmit a number of diseases and parasites to humans and livestock. The overabundance of deer is a result of their strong fecundity, and therefore the present situation should, in theory, be tackled by experts in reproductive biology. © 2017 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.


Sugiura M.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Yakugaku Zasshi | Year: 2015

Antioxidant micronutrients, such as vitamins and carotenoids, exist in abundance in fruits and vegetables and have been known to contribute to the body's defense against reactive oxygen species. Numerous recent epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that a high dietary consumption of fruit and vegetables rich in carotenoids or with high serum carotenoid concentrations results in lower risks of certain cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These epidemiologic studies have suggested that antioxidant carotenoids may have a protective effect against several lifestyle-related diseases. β-Cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid pigment found in Japanese mandarin (Citrus unshiu MARC.) fruit, which is mainly produced in Japan. Our nutritional epidemiologic survey, the Mikkabi Study, utilized data derived from health examinations of inhabitants performed in the town of Mikkabi in Shizuoka, Japan. In this survey, we measured serum β-Cryptoxanthin as a specific biomarker to estimate the consumption of Japanese mandarin fruit. From the cross-sectional analyses from the Mikkabi Study, we found inverse associations of serum β-Cryptoxanthin with the risks for atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, liver dysfunction, metabolic syndrome, low bone mineral density, and oxidative stress. In this review, recent epidemiologic studies about the associations between serum β-Cryptoxanthin with the risk for several lifestylerelated diseases were reviewed. © 2015 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.


Zhang R.,Okayama University | Hisano S.,Okayama University | Tani A.,Okayama University | Kondo H.,Okayama University | And 2 more authors.
Nature Microbiology | Year: 2016

Viruses typically encode the capsid that encases their genome, while satellite viruses do not encode a replicase and depend on a helper virus for their replication 1. Here, we report interplay between two RNA viruses, yado-nushi virus 1 (YnV1) and yado-kari virus 1 (YkV1), in a phytopathogenic fungus, Rosellinia necatrix2. YkV1 has a close phylogenetic affinity to positive-sense, single-stranded (+)ssRNA viruses such as animal caliciviruses3, while YnV1 has an undivided double-stranded (ds) RNA genome with a resemblance to fungal totiviruses4. Virion transfection and infectious full-length cDNA transformation has shown that YkV1 depends on YnV1 for viability, although it probably encodes functional RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Immunological and molecular analyses have revealed trans-encapsidation of not only YkV1 RNA but also RdRp by the capsid protein of the other virus (YnV1), and enhancement of YnV1 accumulation by YkV1. This study demonstrates interplay in which the capsidless (+)ssRNA virus (YkV1), hijacks the capsid protein of the dsRNA virus (YnV1), and replicates as if it were a dsRNA virus. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Yamane T.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2013

Male seminal substances have been shown to induce oviposition and reduce female longevity in a number of species including the adzuki bean beetle Callosobruchus chinensis. Here the micro-injection of extracts of male reproductive tissues is used to determine the effect of male and female strain on female fecundity and longevity. Four strains of C. chinensis, known to differ in their propensity to remate were assayed. The results indicate that male and female strain both influence female fecundity and longevity. However, consistent patterns of response were not observed as revealed by a significant interaction between male and female strains. The evolutionary implications of these results are discussed. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Hayashi K.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2013

Purpose: Earlier studies on agricultural life cycle assessment recommend that practitioners use two functional units - product weight and land area - because agriculture entails commodity production and land use. However, there are still ambiguities in this approach from the perspective of decision support. The purpose of this paper is to provide recommendations to support farming conversion decisions on the basis of a framework constructed on two alternative views of agricultural production. Organic conversion of arable farming is selected as a case study. Methods: Four types of conversion were constructed on the basis of land-oriented expression, in which inputs into and outputs from land were depicted, and product-oriented expression, in which inputs into and outputs from products were depicted. Then, the frequencies for each type were counted using LCI databases and data from journal papers. Results: The results can be summarized as follows: (1) trade-off conversion, in which improvements in environmental impacts per area unit are involved in decrease of yield per area unit, is common. (2) Conversion tended to be efficient; that is, environmental impacts per product unit tended to improve. (3) Within trade-off conversion, the conversion tended to be efficient. (4) When conversion was efficient, there were trade-offs. Conclusions: Since the results for one expression were not always derivable from the results for another expression, the recommendation of this study is to use the two expressions complementarily, knowing that win-win conversion is rare. In addition, there is a general recommendation to use decision criteria rather than trying to make decisions on the basis of multiple functional units because comparisons based on the two functional units are not on the same level. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Yano H.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Molecular Plant | Year: 2014

Studies triggered by the discovery of the function of thioredoxin (Trx) in photosynthesis have revealed its role throughout biology. Parallel biochemical and proteomic analyses have led to the identification of its numerous putative targets. Recently, to verify the biological significance of these targets, in vivo studies using transformants in which Trx is overexpressed or suppressed are in progress, and the transformants themselves that are being used in such studies show their potential applicative values. Moreover, Trx's mitigation of allergenicity for some proteins offers promising prospects in the food industry. Practical studies based on redox regulation, once only on the horizon, are now achieving new dimensions. This short review focuses on the industrial applications of Trx studies, the current situation, and future perspectives. The putative targets obtained by the proteomics approach in comparison with in vivo observations of the transformants are also examined. Applicative studies of glutathione, a counterpart of Trx, are also discussed briefly. © 2013 The Author.


Yano H.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2010

The wide prevalence of celiac disease and wheat allergy has led to a growing demand for glutenfree foods. Rice proteins do not possess the viscoelastic properties typically found in gluten, thus making rice flour unsuitable for the production of yeast-leavened products. In the present study, we found that the addition of glutathione to rice batter improves its gas-retaining properties. Glutathione was found to prevent the formation of the disulfide-linked macromolecular protein barrier, which is reported to confer resistance to the deformation of rice batter in the baking process. Also, glutathione appeared to gelatinize rice starch at lower temperatures. Microstructure analyses of glutathione-added rice bread revealed it to have a perforated structure like wheat bread but with a smoother-looking surface. These data collectively suggest that glutathione facilitates the deformation of rice batter, thus increasing its elasticity in the early stages of bread baking and the volume of the resulting bread. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Kaneda M.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Differentiation | Year: 2011

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon that brings the difference of expression between paternally or maternally derived alleles and is specific for mammals in vertebrates. This imprint is established in the parental germlines and then inherited to the next generation to regulate expression of imprinted genes that are essential to support proper embryonic development. More than one hundred imprinted genes have been identified in mice and humans. Some are essential for embryonic development, especially placental formation, and others regulate metabolism, behavior and physiological functions. In humans, disruption of genomic imprinting causes several diseases, including cancer. Recently, the molecular mechanisms of genomic imprinting are getting clarified. How do parents regulate gene expression of their children? Why and how is genomic imprinting evolved in mammals? The review offers a handful of recent progress in this area. © 2011 International Society of Differentiation.


Takahashi M.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2012

Many factors affect development of mammalian preimplantation embryos in vitro. It is well known that in vitro development of bovine embryos is highly affected by culture condition including energy source, growth factors, pH or gas environment. Many efforts have been made towards the suitable environments which can successfully support embryo development in vitro. For a rapid growth and differentiation, embryo requires energy by utilizing ATP, NADPH with oxygen molecules. These energy substrates are produced from the electron transport chain in the mitochondria. In addition to energy production, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also generated as by-product of such energy production system. ROS production is sensitively controlled by the balance of oxidizing and reducing status and affected by several antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) or low molecular weight thiols such as glutathione (GSH). Imbalance of oxidation and reduction causes production of excess ROS, which causes the developmental arrest, physical DNA damage, apoptosis induction or lipid peroxidation. Environmental oxygen condition during embryo culture also highly affects embryo development as well as intracellular redox balance. Several studies have revealed that regulation of intra- and extra- cellular reducing environment by reducing excess ROS by using antioxidants, reducing oxygen concentration are effective for improving embryo development. Also, recent studies have demonstrated the difference in gene expression affected by oxidative stress. This review briefly summarizes the effects of ROS and the role of redox balance on preimplantation embryos for improving the efficiency of in vitro production of mammalian embryos. © 2012 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.


Nagao A.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
BioFactors | Year: 2011

A number of carotenoids with diverse structures are present in foods and have beneficial effects on human health due to their common antioxidant activity and their respective biological activities. The major carotenoids found in human tissues, however, are limited to several including such as β-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. We have little knowledge of whether carotenoids are selectively absorbed in intestine and metabolized discriminately in the body. Moreover, the metabolic transformation of carotenoids in mammals other than vitamin A formation has not been fully elucidated. Here, the intestinal absorption and oxidative metabolism of dietary carotenoids are reviewed with a focus on dietary xanthophylls. © 2011 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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