Laboratory of Environmental Crop Science
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,
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A newly developed compost, “acidulo compost” which is fermented with lactic acid bacteria, is studied in terms of its effective weed control function.
  5. 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: Masanori SAITO / CV
    Associate Professor: Toyoaki ITO / CV
    Assistant Professor: Ryosuke TAJIMA / CV / Personal website
    Technician: Toru UNO
    Research Fellow: Takae SUZUKI
    Research Support Assistant: Aya ABE
    Research Support Assistant: Yoko SATO
    Graduate Student: Toru UNO
    Graduate Student: Hisashi NASUKAWA
    Graduate Student: Yuto NAKANO
    Graduate Student: Wataru MATSUZAKI
    Graduate Student: Tomohiro WATANABE
    Undergraduate Student: Kensuke Oshima
    Undergraduate Student: Risa SUEKI
    Undergraduate Student: Kyoko SUGA



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Yasuno, N., Shikano, S., Muraoka, A., Shimada, T., Ito, T., Kikuchi, E., Seasonal increase of methane in sediment dreases δ13C of larval chironomids in a eutrophic shallow lake, Limnology, 13:107-116 (2012)
  • Kimura, S. D., Yan, X-Y., Hatano, R., Hayakawa, A., Kohyama, K., Ti C-P., Deng M-H., Hojito, M., Itahashi, S., Kuramochi,K., Cai, Z.C., and Saito, M. Influence of Agricultural Activity on Nitrogen Budget in Chinese and Japanese Watersheds,Pedosphere,22(2):137-151(2012)
  • Sato, Y., Ohta, H., Yamagishi, T., Guo, Y.,Nishizawa, T., Ragman, M.H.,Kuroda,H., Kato, T.,Saito, M., Yoshinaga,I., Inubushi,K., and Suwa, Y., Detection of anammox activity and 16S rRNA genes in ravine paddy field soil,Microbes and Environment,27(3):316-319(2012)
  • Liu, D., C. Suekuni, K. Akita, T. Ito, M. Saito, T. Watanabe, M. Kimura and S. Asakawa: Effect of winter-flooding on methanogenic archaeal community structure in paddy field under organic farming. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 58:553-561 (2012)


  • Saito M., Oba H., Kojima T.: Effect of nitrogen on the sporulation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing several gramineous plant species.Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 57(1), 2011, 29-34.
  • H. Takahashi, H. Sekiguchi, T. Ito, M. Sasahara, N. Hatanaka, A. Ohba, S. Hase, S. Ando, H. Hasegawa, S. Takenaka: Microbial community profiles in intercellular fluid of rice. Journal of General Plant Pathology, 77(2), 2011, 121-131.
  • Tajima, R. and Y. Kato: Comparison of threshold algorithms for automatic image processing of rice roots using freeware ImageJ. Field Crops Research, 121, 2011, 460-463.
  • Koga, N. and R. Tajima: Assessing energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas emissions under bioethanol-oriented paddy rice production in northern Japan. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 2011, 967-973.


  • Yao, Q., Ohtomo, R. and Saito, M. Influence of nitrogen and phosphorus on polyphosphate accumulation in Gigaspora margarita during spore germination, Plant and Soil, 330, 2010, 303-311.
  • Yoichiro Kato, Midori Okami, Ryosuke Tajima, Daisuke Fujita and Nobuya Kobayashi: Root response to aerobic conditions in rice, estimated by Comair root length scanner and scanner-based image analysis. Field Crops Research, 118(2), 2010, 194-198.


  • Takanisi I., Ohtomo R., Hayatsu M. Saito M*.: Short-chain polyphosphate in arbuscular mycorrhizal roots colonized by Glomus spp.: A possible phosphate pool for host plants. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41, 2009, 1571-1573.
  • T. Ito*, T. Yokota, M. Saigusa.; Measurement of organic phosphorus mineralization in non-allophanic Andosols using anion exchange resin. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 6, 2009, 109-115.
  • H. Heinai, T. Ito, K. Minamide.: Ammonia emission and carbon and nitrogen balances during acidulocomposting of garbage. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 6, 2009, 101-107.
  • Saito M, Ito T., Tajima R.: Symbiotic nutrient exchange in arbuscular mycorrhiza. Tohoku Journal of Agricultural Research, 60, 2009, 69-72.


  • Kuga Y., Saito K., Nayuki K., Peterson R. L., Saito M.: Ultrastructure of rapidly frozen and freeze-substituted germ tubes of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and localization of polyphosphate. New Phytologist, 178, 2008, 189-200.
  • Ohtomo R. Sekiguchi Y., Kojima T., Saito M.: Different chain length specificity among three polyphosphate quantification methods. Analytical Biochemistry, 383, 2008, 210-216.
  • O. Sano. T. Ito. M. Saigusa.: Effects of co-situs application of controlled-availability fertilizer on fertilizer and soil nitrogen uptake by rice (Oryza sativa L.) in paddy soils with different available nitrogen. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 54(5), 2008, 769-776
  • T. Takahashi. A. Mitamura. T. Ito. K. Ito. M. Nanzyo. M. Saigusa.: Aluminum solubility of strongly acidified allophanic Andosols from Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan. Soil Science Plant Nutrition, 54(3), 2008, 362-368.
  • Tajima. R., J. Abe. ON. Lee. S. Morita. A. Lux.: Developmental changes in peanut root structure during root growth and root structure modification by nodulation. Annals of Botany, 101, 2008, 491-499.
  • Changdee. T.. S. Morita. J. Abe. K Ito. R. Tajima and A. Polthanee.: Root anatomical responses to waterlogging at seedling stage of three cordage fiber crops. Plant Production Science, 11, 2008, 232-237.
  • M. Nanzyo. T. Ito. T. Takahashi. H. Kanno.: Metal complexation of humus and horizon differentiation in Andisols and Spodosols. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 5, 2008, 41-49.
  • O. Sano. T. Ito and M. Saigusa.: Effects of available nitrogen and ammonium adsorption of plow layer on nitrogen uptake and yield of paddy rice (Oryza sativa L.). Journal of Integrated Field Science, 5, 2008, 17-27.
  • O. Sano. T. Ito and M. Saigusa.: Relationship between the content of expansible 2:1 type clay minerals in paddy soils and the amount of ammonium nitrogen in the ponding water by a laboratory experiment. Journal of Integrated Field Science, 5, 2008, 13-16.
  • Hayatsu. M, K. Tago, and M. Saito: Various players in the nitrogen cycle: diversity and functions of microorganisms involved in nitrification and denitrification. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 54, 2008, 33-45.
  • Changdee. T., S. Morita, J. Abe, K. Ito, R. Tajima, and A. Palthanee: Root anatomical responces to waterlogging at seedling stage of three cordage fiber crops. Plant Production Science, 11, 232-237.


Environmental Crop Science
Field Science Center, Graduate School of Agricultural Science,
Tohoku University
232-3 Yomogida,Naruko-Onsen, Osaki, Miyagi 989-6711, Japan
Phone: +81-229-84-7360
Fax: +81-229-84-7364
mail: ecs(a) (Change “(a)” to “@“)