Our laboratory aims to isolate microorganisms from various environments, and to evaluate them as useful bioresources, then to utilize their function. Through these research works, we try to gain more insights into the interaction between environmental microbes and viruses, or environmental microbes and inorganic substances by the application of molecular microbiological and enzymatic techniques. Hereto, the research is currently focusing on three major research themes:
The first major topic investigates environmental viruses infect to microorganisms live in the geothermal area (Hyperthermophiles) in relation to the horizontal gene transfer and gene exchange in a geothermal environment resembles the ancient earth environment. Hereby, special attention goes to the biomolecules of hyperthermophilic viruses (nucleic acids, proteins, CRISPR/Cas system, etc.) and their application to phage therapy, nanotechnology, gene engineering, and carcinoma care.
A second topic focuses on the interaction between inorganic substances and hyperthermophilic microbes present in geothermal power plants or hot springs in relation to silica scale and sinter formation. Hereby, special attention goes to the development of molecular methods to monitor the diversity and activity of these microbes (biomineralization, environmental stress, etc.).
A third topic focuses on the utilization of microbial function (such as D-amino acid production, probiotics, morphological differentiation, etc.) with lactic acid bacteria and actinomycetes. Hereby, special attention goes to the genome-wide analysis and enzymatic engineering with NGS, UPLC, MS instruments.