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Tomonao Matsushita Last modified date:2019.07.25

Associate Professor / Agricultural Bioresource Sciences
Department of Bioresource Sciences
Faculty of Agriculture

Graduate School

Academic Degree
Ph. D.
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
plant photophysiology, plant molecular genetics, plant molecular biology
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
The goal of our research is to elucidate the molecular mechanism of phytochrome signaling in plant cells. We use several different techniques, from forward genetics to molecular biology, in order to identify novel downstream components of phytochrome signal transduction in Arabidopsis.
Research Interests
  • Novel mechanism of phytochrome signal transduction in Arabidopsis
    keyword : phytochrome, photoreceptor, photomorphogenesis, light signal transduction
Current and Past Project
  • Identification and analysis of novel genes involved in phytochrome signal transduction in rice
Academic Activities
1. Ushijima T, Hanada K, Gotoh E, Yamori W, Kodama Y, Tanaka H, Kusano M, Fukushima A, Tokizawa M, Yamamoto YY, Tada Y, Suzuki Y, and Matsushita T, Light Controls Protein Localization through Phytochrome-Mediated Alternative Promoter Selection, CELL, 10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.018, 171, 6, 1316-1325, 171: 1316-1325 (2017), 2017.11, Alternative promoter usage is a proteome-expanding mechanism that allows multiple pre-mRNAs to be transcribed from a single gene. The impact of this mechanism on the proteome and whether it is positively exploited in normal organismal responses remain unclear. We found that the plant photoreceptor phytochrome induces genome-wide changes in alternative promoter selection in Arabidopsis thaliana. Through this mechanism, protein isoforms with different N termini are produced that display light-dependent differences in localization. For instance, shade-grown plants accumulate a cytoplasmic isoform of glycerate kinase (GLYK), an essential photorespiration enzyme that was previously thought to localize exclusively to the chloroplast. Cytoplasmic GLYK constitutes a photorespiratory bypass that alleviates fluctuating light-induced photoinhibition. Therefore, phytochrome controls alternative promoter selection to modulate protein localization in response to changing light conditions. This study suggests that alternative promoter usage represents another ubiquitous layer of gene expression regulation in eukaryotes that contributes to diversification of the proteome..
2. Hiromasa Shikata, Kousuke Hanada, Tomokazu Ushijima, Moeko Nakashima, Yutaka Suzuki, Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome controls alternative splicing to mediate light responses in Arabidopsis, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 10.1073/pnas.1407147112, 111, 52, 18781-18786, 2014.12.
3. Hiromasa Shikata, Mami Shibata, Tomokazu Ushijima, Moeko Nakashima, Sam-Geun Kong, Ken Matsuoka, Chentao Lin, Tomonao Matsushita, The RS domain of Arabidopsis splicing factor RRC1 is required for phytochrome B signal transduction, The Plant Journal, 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.04937.x, 70, 5, 727-738, 2012.06.
4. Yoshito Oka, Tomonao Matsushita, Nobuyoshi Mochizuki, Peter H Quail, Akira Nagatani, Mutant Screen Distinguishes between Residues Necessary for Light-Signal Perception and Signal Transfer by Phytochrome B, PLoS Genetics, Vol.4, e1000158, 2008.08.
5. Oka Y, Matsushita T, Mochizuki N, Suzuki T, Tokutomi S, and Nagatani A, Functional Analysis of a 450-Amino Acid N-Terminal Fragment of Phytochrome B in Arabidopsis, Plant Cell, vol.16, p2104-2116, 2004.08.
6. Tomonao Matsushita, Nobuyoshi Mochizuki, Akira Nagatani, Dimers of the N-terminal domain of phytochrome B are functional in the nucleus, Nature, 10.1038/nature01837, 424, 6948, 571-574, vol.424, p571-574, 2003.07.
1. Tomonao Matsushita, Light controls protein localization through phytochrome-mediated alternative promoter selection, International Symposium on Plant Photobiology 2018, 2018.01.
2. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome globally modulates protein subcellular localization in Arabidopsis, 第58回日本植物生理学会年会, 2017.03.
3. Tomonao Matsushita, Light-dependent control of gene expression by phytochrome, 2016 Plant Science Annual Meeting and Symposium, Taiwan Society of Plant Biologists, 2016.11.
4. Tomonao Matsushita, Molecular mechanism of phytochrome signal transduction in higher plants, 7th Asia and Oceania Conference on Photobiology, 2015.11.
5. Tomonao Matsushita, Light-dependent dual regulation of gene expression by phytochrome, 2015 International Symposium on Plant Sciences & the Annual Conference of the Korean Society of Plant Biologists, 2015.11.
6. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome Controls Alternative Splicing to Mediate Light Responses in Arabidopsis , The 2nd International Symposium on Plant Enrironmental Sensing, 2015.03.
7. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome controls alternative splicing in Arabidopsis, Gordon Research Conference, 2014.04.
8. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome regulates alternative splicing in Arabidopsis, The 6th Asia & Oceania Conference on Photobiology, 2013.11.
9. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome regulates alternative splicing in Arabidopsis, International Symposium on Plant Photobiology, 2013.06.
10. Tomonao Matsushita, Phytochrome B signal transduction in Arabidopsis, International Symposium “Strategies of Plants against Global Environmental Change”, 2011.12.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The Photobiology Association of Japan
  • The Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists
  • The Botanical Society of Japan
  • Studies on signal transduction of plants' informational photoreceptor phytochrome