Environmental Crop Science

Laboratory for Understanding Crop and Environment

For understanding Crop and Environment

Our laboratory is located in Field Science Center, Graduate School of Agriculture, University in Naruko Onsen, Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which is 70km north of Sendai. We studying on the development of environmentally friendly crop production technology based on field research.

More specifically,

Phosphorus is one of the essential elements for plant and its depletion of resources is concerned. To use phosphorus efficiently for crop production, we investigate the effective use of symbiotic soil microorganisms, “arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi”, which colonize plant roots and absorb phosphorus more efficiently. Also, the effective way to use phosphorus in compost for crop production is studied.

 To maintain and enhance biodiversity around rice fields, we study the effect of the organic farming technology “Winter Flooding Paddy Fields” on biodiversity and physic-chemical properties of soils.

To use waste cake from water purification plant efficiently for resources, we are developing the technology of effective use of polysilicate iron (PSI) sludge for rice production. This material has potential functions to mitigate emission of methane (one of greenhouse gases) from rice field and to improve rice growth as well.

A newly developed compost, “acidulo compost” which is fermented with lactic acid bacteria, is studied in terms of its effective weed control function.

Plant roots are important to organ to absorb water and nutrients from soil. We are developing a new method to measure the growth rate of the roots during cultivation and evaluating its impact on soil carbon dynamics.


Professor: Mizuhiko NISHIDA

Assistant Professor: Ryosuke TAJIMA

Lab Manager: Toru UNO

Researcher: Masanori SAITO

D3: Toru UNO



M2: Tomohiro WATANABE

M1: Risa SUEKI




  • Gao, X., Kim, S., Minoshima, H., Ito, T., Kitamura, S. (2017) Effect of the mineralogical phases in steelmaking slag fertilizer on the dissolution behavior of nutritious elements and rice growth. Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, 3, 207-218.
  • Komissarov, Mikhail, Shin-ichiro Ogura, Hiroaki Kato and Masanori Saito (2017) Effects of plowing on vertical distribution of radioactive Cs and soil physicochemical properties in temperate pastures, Grassland Science, 63: 265-272 10.1111/grs.12172.
  • Nakai, Y., T. Nishio, H. Kitashiba, M. Nanzyo, M. Saito, T. Ito. M. Omura, Y. Kanayama: Tohoku University Rapeseed Project for Restoring Tsunami-Salt-Damaged Farmland: Was the Wisdom of Agricultural Science Utilized for the Restoration? In book: Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research Volume 47, ”The 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Reconstruction and Restoration Insights and Assessment after 5 Years”, Editors: Vicente Santiago-Fandiño, Shinji Sato, Norio Maki, Kanako Iuchi pp.369-383, Springer First Online: 13 July 2017
  • Suzuki, Takae, Toru Uno, Ryosuke Tajima, Toyoaki Ito, Masanori Saito (2017) Optimum level of soil available phosphorus for AMF inoculation to Welsh onion in non-allophanic Andosol, Abstract, 9th International Conference on Mycorrhiza, Prague, 31 July – 4 August, 2017.
  • Tajima, Ryosuke (2017) Phenotyping of root system architecture using root model. 2017 JST International Workshop on Field Phenotyping and Modeling for Cultivation, Tokyo. (8-9/Dec/2017)


  • Asagi, N., Minamide, K., Uno, T., Saito, M., Ito, T. (2016) Acidulocompost, a food waste compost with thermophilic lactic acid fermentation: its effects on potato production and weed growth. Plant Production Science, 19: 132-144.
  • Gao, X., Ito, T., Nasukawa, H., Kitamura, S. (2016) Application of Fertilizer Made of Steelmaking Slag in the Recovery of Paddy Fields Damaged by the Tsunami of 2011. ISIJ International, 56: 1103-1110.
  • Hara, S., Saito, M. (2016) Isolation of inositol hexaphosphate (IHP)degrading bacteria from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal hyphal compartment hyphaesphere using a modified baiting method involving alginate beads containing IHP. Microbes and Environment, 31: 234-243.
  • Kato, Y., Tajima, R., Toriumi, A., Homma, K., Moritsuka, N., Shiraiwa, T., Yamagishi, J., Mekwatanakern, P., Chamarerk, V., Jongdee. B. (2016) Grain yield and phosphorus uptake of rainfed lowland rice under unsubmerged soil stress. Field Crops Research, 190: 54-59.
  • Yamaguchi, N., Tanikawa, I., Kimura, T., Yoshioka K., Saito M. (2016) Contamination of agricultural products and soils with radiocesium derived from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: Monitoring, case studies and countermeasures. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 62: 303-314.


  • Bautista, E. G., Nghi, N. T., Saito, M., Regalado, M. J. C. (2015) Potential Evaluation of a Locally-Designed Wind-Pump System for Water Pumping to Irrigate Rice Crop Based on a Ten-Year Weather Data in the Philippines. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 12: 9-17.
  • Bautista, E.G., Saito, M. (2015) Greenhouse gas emissions from rice production in the Philippines based on life-cycle inventory analysis. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment, 13(1): 139-144.
  • Ito, T., Hara, K., Kon, T., Ohtaka, A.(2015) Effect of winter-flooding and organic farming on density of aquatic oligochaetes in ricefields: Case study in Miyagi prefecture, Northeastern Japan. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 12: 31-37.
  • Matsushita, Y. et al. Saito, M., Sano, T., Tsushima, S. (2015) Community structure, diversity, and species dominance of bacteria, fungi, and nematodes from naturally and conventionally farmed soil: a case study on Japanese apple orchards. Organic Agriculture, 5(1): 11-28
  • Nakai, Y., Nishio,T., Kitashiba, H., Nanzyo, M., Saito, M., Ito, T., Omura, M., Abe, M. Ogushi, Y. (2015) The Agri-Reconstruction Project and Rapeseed Project for Restoring Tsunami-Salt- Damaged Farmland After the GEJE -An Institutional Effort. Santiago-Fandiño, V., Kontar, Y. A., Kaneda, Y. (Eds.), Post-Tsunami Hazard: Reconstruction and Restoration. Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research. 44, pp293-310. Springer, Switzerland.
  • Nakao, A., Takeda, A., Ogasawara, S., Yanai, J., Sano, O., Ito, T. (2015) Relationships between paddy soil radiocesium interception potentials and physicochemical properties in Fukushima, Japan. Journal of Evironmental Quality, 44: 780-788.


  • Bautista, E.G., Saito, M., Regalad, M.J.C. (2014) Performance of an updraft rice husk gasifier system for powering village rice mills in the Philippines, J. Food Agric. Environ. 12(2): 831-835.
  • Funamoto, R., Saito, K., Oyaizu, H., Aono, T. Saito, M. (2014) pH measurement of tubular vacuoles of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Gigaspora margarita, Mycorrhiza 25: 55-60.
  • Komiyama, T., T. Ito and M. Saigusa (2014) Measurement of the maximum amount of water-extractable phosphorus in animal manure compost by continuous and sequential water extraction. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 60:196-207
  • Komiyama T., T. Ito and M. Saigusa (2014) Effects of phosphorus-based application of animal manure compost on the yield of silage corn and on soil phosphorus accumulation in an upland Andosol in Japan. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 60:863-873.
  • Nakao, A., S. Ogasawara, O. Sano, T. Ito, J. Yanai (2014) Radiocesium sorption in relation to clay mineralogy of paddy soils in Fukushima, Japan. Science of the Total Environment, 469: 523-529
  • Ando, S., T. Ito, T. Kanno, T. Kobayashi, T. Morikawa, K. Honda, S. Tsushima and H. Takahashi (2014) Impact of organic crop management on suppression of bacterial seedling diseases in rice. Organic Agriculture, 4, DOI10.1007/s13165-014-0067-1
  • Ogura, S., Suzuki, T., Saito, M. (2014) Distribution of radioactive cesium in soil and its uptake by herbaceous plants in temperate pastures with different management after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Station accident, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 60 (6), 790-800
  • Yamamoto, T., K. Minamide, N. Asagi, T. Uno, M. Saito and T. Ito (2014) New function of Compost: Inhibitory effect of Acidulo®compost on weed germination and growth, J. Integ. Field Sci., 11, 43-50
  • Gao, X., M. Okubo, N. Maruoka, H. Shibata, T. Ito and S. Kitamura (2014) Production and utilisation of iron and steelmaking slag in Japan and the application of steelmaking slag for the recovery of paddy fields damaged by Tsunami. Journal of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy. http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1743285514Y.0000000068


  • Xiaobo Li, Yongqiu Xia, Yuefei Li, Todd M. Kana, Sooko D. Kimura, Masanori Saito, Xiaoyuan Yan. (2013) Sediment denitrification in waterways in a rice-paddy-dominated watershed in eastern China. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 13: 783-792.
  • Zhihua Bao, Yuko Matsushita, Sho Morimoto, Yuko Takada Hoshino, Chika Suzuki, Kazunari Nagaoka, Makoto Takenaka, Hiroharu Murakami, Yukiko Kuroyanagi, Yasufumi Urashima, Hiroyuki Sekiguchi, Atsuhiko Kushida, Koki Toyota, Masanori Saito, Seiya Tsushima. (2013) Decrease in fungal biodiversity along an available phosphorous. Can. J. Microbiol. 59:368-373.
  • Tajima, R., T. Suzuki and C. Tada. 2013. Environmental Impacts of Methane Fermentation System Using Hot Springs. Journal of Integrated Field Science. 10. 7-15.
  • Kato, Y., R. Tajima, K. Homma, A. Toriumi, J. Yamagishi, T. Shiraiwa, P. Mekwatanakarn and B. Jongdee. 2013. Root growth response of rainfed lowland rice to aerobic conditions in northeastern Thailand. Plant Soil. 368. 557-567.
  • Tajima, R. and Y. Kato 2013. A Quick Method to Estimate Root Length Distribution in Diameter Classes by Using Freeware ImageJ. Plant Production Science. 16. 9-11.


    Kawatabi Field Center, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University

    • ADRESS: Yomogida, Naruko-onsen, Osaki, Miyagi, 989-6711
    • TEL: 0229-84-7364
    • FAX: 0229-84-7364
    • MAIL: ecs_a_bios.tohoku.ac.jp (replace _a_ with @)