▲ Prof. Kazuo Komagata and Dr. Mitsuo Sakamoto, research scientist of JCM (right) at the 11th International Conference on Culture Collections (ISCC 11) in Germany, October 2007.
▲ The building for JCM was established in Wako in 1980, which had been the home of JCM until it moved to Tsukuba in 2012.
On March 12th 2014, the Japan Academy decided to award the Duke Edinburgh Prize to Prof. Kazuo Komagata, ex-Director of Division of Laboratory Organisms and Japan Collection of Microorganisms (JCM), who is currently a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo. Division of Laboratory Organisms is the previous body of the Microbe Division (JCM).
The Award is for his achievement of "Contribution to Microbial Taxonomic Research and Culture Collection." He was the first Director of JCM launched in 1981 and strove for the foundation of the core institution in the national efforts to preserve experimental organisms.
The Award Ceremony is to be held in Ueno, Tokyo next July.
- Comments from Prof. Kazuo Komagata -
I have worked for "the basis of basis" - microbial taxonomy and culture collection. Research and enterprise in this field can never be carried out without cooperation of relevant persons. Thus, I believe this award of prize is not only an honor for me personally but also something to breed pride and confidence in microbial taxonomists and staff of culture collections.
The number of resources became 2,063.
The number of resources became 2,045.
The 2014 Annual Meeting of Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry will be held in Tokyo from March 27 through to 30. It is our pleasure to invite you to visit "National BioResource Project(NBRP)" booth in Meiji University Ikuta Campus that will be held on March 28th through 30th, 2014.
Meiji University, Ikuta Campus
The 2014 Annual Meeting of Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry
Pluripotency is a property that early embryonic cells possess over a considerable developmental time span. Accordingly, pluripotent cell lines can be established from the pre-implantation or post-implantation mouse embryo as embryonic stem (ES) or epiblast stem (EpiSC) cell lines, respectively. Maintenance of the pluripotent phenotype depends on the function of specific transcription factors (TFs) operating within a pluripotency gene regulatory network (PGRN). As cells move from an ES cell to an EpiSC state, the PGRN changes with expression of some TFs reduced (e.g. Nanog) or eliminated (e.g. Esrrb). Re-expressing such TFs can move cells back to an earlier developmental identity and is being applied to attempt establishment of human cell lines with the properties of mouse ES cells.
The role of pluripotency gene regulatory network components in mediating transitions between pluripotent cell states. Festuccia N, Osorno R, Wilson V, Chambers I. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Oct;23(5):504-11.
There has been a substantial effort to understand the evolution of microbial genomes in association with eukaryotic hosts, but very little is know about how symbionts respond to the stresses of symbiosis. The bacterium Wolbachia (order Rickettsiales), representing perhaps the most abundant vertically transmitted microbe worldwide, infects arthropods and filarial nematodes. In arthropods, Wolbachia can induce reproductive alterations and interfere with the transmission of several arthropod-borne pathogens. Additionally, Wolbachia is an obligate mutualist of the filarial parasites that cause lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis in the tropics. Targeting Wolbachia with tetracycline antibiotics leads to sterilisation and ultimately death of adult filariae. However, several weeks of treatment are required, restricting the implementation of this control strategy. To date, the response of Wolbachia to stress has not been investigated and almost nothing is known about global regulation of gene expression in this organism. Despite its Centre for Genomic Research, University of Liverpool, UK BRC SEMINAR highly reduced genome, Wolbachia shows a surprising ability to regulate gene expression during exposure to a potent stressor. These findings have general relevance for the chemotherapy of obligate intracellular bacteria and the mechanistic basis of persistence in the Rickettsiales.
The number of resources became 2,044.
The number of resources became 2,036.
The number of resources became 2,033.
Dr. Moriwaki died of colon cancer in the early morning of November 23, 2013. He was 83 years old. Until his death, he was Special Consultant to RIKEN BioResource Center (BRC).
In his career, he served as Director of RIKEN BRC, Director of RIKEN Tsukuba Institute and Vice Director and Honorary Professor of National Institute of Genetics.
Dr. Moriwaki was a member of a committee for establishment of a bioresource center in RIKEN and appointed as the Founding Director of RIKEN BRC in 2001.
He, as the first director of a specialized center focusing biological resources ever established in Japan, has built successfully a solid foundation for the current activities in the BRC by laying out institutional structure and gaining support from government and scientific community.
Dr. Moriwaki was a renowned world leader in Mouse Genetics and educated numerous scientists in his career.
Since he was diagnosed as colon cancer two years ago, he had been fighting against the cancer. Sadly, he succumbed to it. He is survived by his wife, Sachiko, two daughters and four grandchildren.
All of us at the Center mourn Dr. Moriwaki's death. At the same time, we are reconfirming our determination that we will do our best to realize Dr. Moriwaki's dreams and succeed his spirit.
RIKEN BioResource Center
On October 26th 2013, Dr. Shingo Kato, Special Postdoctoral Researcher and Dr. Moriya Ohkuma, Head of the Microbe Division (JCM), have won the JSE Best Poster Award for their presentation "Distribution, function and community composition of prokaryotes in sub-seafloor massive sulfide deposits".
The award is given to those who gave a good presentation in the annual conference of the Japan Society for Extremophiles (Japanese). It is given to several members every year.
RIKEN will be closed on October 28th for RIKEN Foundation Day. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your understanding.
The number of resources became 1,992.
The number of resources became 1,990.
The number of resources became 1,959.
ANRRC 2013 -The 5th ANRRC International Meeting-
The number of resources became 1,957.
The number of resources became 1,956.
The number of resources became 1,955.
On June 27th 2013, Dr. Rikiya Endo, Contract Researcher and Dr. Moriya Ohkuma, Head of the Microbe Division (JCM), have won the JSCC Best Presentation Award for their presentation "Emerging hot spots of yeast resource in forests".
Dr. Takao Iino, Research Scientist and Dr. Moriya Ohkuma, Head have also won the award for their presentation "Taxonomic study of Stenotrophomonas maltophila" with Ms. Yuna Kurokawa, Technical Staff of Tokyo University of Agriculture et al.
The award is given to those who gave a presentation to contribute to developing sciences on microbial resources and vitalizing the conference of Japan Society for Culture Collections (Japanese). It is given to three members every year.
The RIKEN BRC would like to help our users utilize the wealth of natural variation in Arabidopsis. We selected 100 Arabidopsis natural accessions and distribute to you per set. The detailed information is available from here.
We will soon release seed pools of natural accessions for your screening purpose. After you screen them, you can ask BRC for "genotyping service (separately charged)" to determine the accession name on a particular line or on particular lines.
On June 8th 2013, Dr. Shihomi Uzuhashi, Research Support Staff in the Microbe Division (RIKEN BRC-JCM), has won the MSJ Young Investigator Award for her research "Taxonomy and phylogenetic studies of genus Pythium".
The award is given to promising young members under the age of 35 in the Mycological Society of Japan, who made researches for the progress of mycology. It is given to three members or less every year.
The RIKEN BioResource Center is distributing copies of common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) EST clones. Approximately 247,000 clones corresponding to 17,232 contigs are available.
CTCF or CCCTC binding factor is an 11-Zn-Finger (ZF) transcription factor with highly versatile functions. It is localized to the nucleus, ubiquitous, highly conserved and binds to varying target sequences to perform different regulatory role. Depending on the promoter, ZF combinations and cell type, CTCF may behave as either an activator or repressor of transcription. Two CTCF-binding sites were identified flanking the CTG repeats and form an insulator element between DMPK and SIX5 genes at Myotonic dystrophy (DM1) locus. The imprinting centre of the XIST antisense gene, Tsix, has been found to contain several tandem CTCFbinding sites. Further investigation identified that CTCF is a possible trans-acting factor in the X-inactivation pathway. We have previously identified several proteins interacting with CTCF. Two protein interacting partners of particular interest were chosen for the present project. The first protein was the Large Subunit of RNA Polymerase II (LS Pol II), the principal enzyme for transcription; and the second protein was the transcription factor YB-1, a member of the Y-box family. We demonstrated that interactions between CTCF/YB-1 and CTCF/ LS Pol II occur both in vivo and in vitro, and they are direct. CTCF employs fingers 3-6 from the Zn finger domain for interaction with the Cold Shock Domain of YB-1. Interaction with the LS Pol II occurs via at least two sites within the CTCF-C.
In this talk, I will also be discussing a CTCF paralogue, termed BORIS for Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites that is firstly detected to be expressed in the testis. BORIS has the same exons encoding the 11 ZF domain as mammalian CTCF genes and interacts with similar cis DNA elements. However, BORIS encodes amino- and carboxy- termini distinct from those in CTCF. Similarity of the ZFs indicates that mammalian CTCF and BORIS proteins will recognize the same or an overlapping spectrum of DNA sequences, but the dissimilar flanking regions point out that the functional consequences of DNA binding by these two proteins are likely to be different. Expression of BORIS in normally BORIS-negative cells promotes cell growth, which can lead to transformation. As a rule, CTCF and BORIS are expressed in a mutually-exclusive pattern that correlates with re-setting of methylation marks during male germ cell differentiation. However, aberrantly expressed BORIS can take place of CTCF in vivo and deregulate CTCF targets. A rivalry caused by abnormal activation of BORIS in soma, especially in the cells where it is never normally expressed, can therefore potentially lead to cancer development.
On May 26th, our Junior Research Associate in the Bioresource Engineering Division, Ms. Mami Oikawa, has won the Excellent Research Award for Young Researcher, the 54th Japanese Society of Ova Research (JSOR) Annual Meeting for her presentation "RNAi-mediated Knockdown of Xist Does Not Rescue the Impaired Development of Female Cloned Mouse Embryos".
The award celebrates and honors excellent research presentations at the 54th JSOR Annual Meeting (Japanese) among young researchers, which significantly contributes to development of JSOR. A few winners are commended every year.
The number of resources became 3,329.
The detailed information is available from here
The 2nd RIKEN BRC/NANJING UNIVERSITY MARC International Summer intensive Course of the Mouse will be held at MARC of Nanjing University from July 29th to 31st.
Date: July 29-31, 2013
On April 16th, 2013, our Senior Advisor Dr. Kazuo Moriwaki won the Prize for Science and Technology (Research Category), commended by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for merits of research on the biological function models based on the evolutionary history of mouse bioresources.
The prize is awarded for those who have done promising and creative research and development activities and made distinguished achievements in Japan's science and technology. Forty-one recipients have been selected for this year.
Dr. Kazuo Moriwaki took on the position of the founding Director of the RIKEN BioResource Center from 2001 to 2005 and established the foundation of the Center. The Center named its main conference hall as "Moriwaki Hall" to make a cordial acknowledgment to his contributions.
The number of resources became 1,935.