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Fujita Koki Last modified date:2024.06.03

Assistant Professor / Sustainable Bioresources Science
Department of Agro-environmental Sciences
Faculty of Agriculture

Graduate School
Undergraduate School

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Academic Degree
Doctor of Agriculture
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Wood chemistry and biochemistry
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Rsearch topics: Terpenes from Cupresaceae, especially beta-thujaplicin, has very special structures and biological ativities. Main target of the research is to reveal the mechanism, such as gene, enzyme and physiology, for these terpene biosynthesis in tree. Tissue culture technique of tree cells for this target is also the one of the topics.

Education: Student lab of wood science #1-#2, Guraduation thesis & its lab work at Lab of Wood chemistry and Biochemistry were concerned.
Research Interests
  • Physiological response of cultured tree cells by natural volatile chemicals.
    keyword : Cupesus lusitanica, monoterpene, de novo synthesis, signal transmission, defence mechanism of trees
  • The cloning and expression and characterization of enzymes related terpene byosinthesis
    keyword : terpene, biosynthesis, terpene synthase, P-450, cloning,
    2001.04Cloning and characterization of the enzymes related to terpene snthesis in woody plants..
  • Improvement of woody plant cell culture condition
    keyword : woody plant cell culture, secondary metabolites
    1994.02Incubation of woody plant cells in order to obtain secandary metabolites..
  • Biosynthesis pathway of beta-thujaplicin on tree
    keyword : Cupressus lusitanica, terpene, thujaplicin, tissue culture, terpene synthase, P450
    1994.02Biosynthetic pathway of beta-thujaplicin produced in Cupressus lusitanica cultured cell..
Current and Past Project
  • Biosynthesis pathway and its related enzymes of beta-thujaplicin production in Mexican cypress cultured cell.
Academic Activities
1. K. Fujita, T. Yamaguchi, K. Sakai, Plant biotechnology and in vitro biology in the 21st century, Klwer Academic Publishers, 281-284
Biosynthesis of 而-thujaplicin with the Cupressus lusitanica suspension cell culture, 1998.01.
1. Conjugated seven-memberd ring compounds.
1. Koki Fujita, Ryo Kambe, Ransika de Alwis, Tatsuya Yagi, Yuji Tsutsumi, Airborne Monoterpenes Emitted from a Cupressus lusitanica Cell Culture Induce a Signaling Cascade that Produces β-Thujaplicin, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 10.1007/s10886-016-0739-2, 42, 8, 814-820, 2016.09, [URL], A cell culture of Cupressus lusitanica was used to investigate the reaction of a plant to certain airborne chemicals. Compared with laboratory and field methods using intact plants or tissues, a cell culture is advantageous because it is not affected by environmental factors and the experiments are easier to reproduce. When exposed to an elicitor, our cell line produces 10 olefin monoterpenes and beta-thujaplicin, which is a strong phytoalexin. These monoterpenes are emitted into the vapor phase and are expected to play a role in airborne signaling. In the present study, the cells were exposed to monoterpene vapors, and the volatiles present in the culture flasks were monitored. When the culture cells were exposed to low doses of sabinene, we detected beta-terpinene and p-cymene. After exposure to beta-terpinene, we found p-cymene and terpinolene, whereas p-cymene exposure resulted in terpinolene emission. By contrast, the other seven monoterpenes we investigated did not induce any emissions of other monoterpenes. These results strongly suggest that in C. lusitanica a signaling cascade exists that starts with the emission of sabinene and moves to beta-terpinene, p-cymene, and finally to terpinolene, which accelerates the production of the phytoalexin beta-thujaplicin..
2. Koki Fujita, Yasufumi Bunyu, Ken-ichi Kuroda, Tatsuya Ashitani, Jun Shigeto, Yuji Tsutsumi, A novel synthetic pathway for tropolone ring formation via the olefin monoterpene intermediate terpinolene in cultured Cupressus lusitanica cells, Journal of Plant Physiology, 10.1016/j.jplph.2013.12.016, 171, 8, 610-614, 2014.03, β-Thujaplicin is a wood monoterpene and tropolone compound with a unique conjugated 7-membered ring. Because of its strong antifungal and antitumor activities, β-thujaplicin is used in several fields. The biosynthesis pathway of β-thujaplicin has not yet been elucidated. Using Cupressus lusitanica cell cultures in a radioisotope feeding experiment, our group previously demonstrated that geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP) is the starting material of β-thujaplicin biosynthesis. The results of our previous terpene synthase assay suggested that terpinolene is the first olefin terpenoid intermediate from GPP to β-thujaplicin, although there was no experimental evidence of this at that time. In the present study, we fed deuterium-labeled terpinolene to cultured C. lusitanica cells to determine whether terpinolene is an intermediate metabolite of β-thujaplicin biosynthesis. A gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis of the cell extracts from labeled terpinolene cultures revealed a peak of labeled β-thujaplicin that was not observed after treatment with non-labeled terpinolene. The identification of labeled β-thujaplicin was also performed by mass spectrum assignment. The outcome indicated that terpinolene is indeed an intermediate metabolite of β-thujaplicin biosynthesis. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no prior report that tropolone compounds are biosynthesized via a terpene biosynthesis system, and our results thus suggest the existence of a novel biosynthetic pathway that produces the conjugated 7-membered ring..
3. Takako Harada, Eriko Harada, Ryoko Sakamoto, Tatsuya Ashitani, Koki Fujita, Ken'ichi Kuroda, Regio- and Substrate-specific Oxidative Metabolism of Terpinolene by Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenases in Cupressus lusitanica Cultured Cells, American journal of plant sciences, 3, 268-275, 2012.02.
4. Ransika De Alwis, Koki Fujita, Tatsuya Ashitani, Ken’ichi Kuroda, Volatile and non-volatile monoterpenes produced by elicitor-stimulated Cupressus lusitanica cultured cells, Journal of Plant Physiology, 166, 720-728, 2009.05.
5. Zhao J, Fujita K, Sakai K, Oxidative stress in plant cell culture: A role in production of beta-thujaplicin by Cupresssus lusitanica suspension culture, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 10.1002/bit.20465, 90, 5, 621-631, 90 (5): 621-631, 2005.06.
6. Fujita K, Yamaguchi T, Itose R, Sakai K, Biosynthetic pathway of beta-thujaplicin in the Cupressus lusitanica cell culture, Journal of Plant Physiology, 156, 4, 462-467, 156 (4): 462-467, 2000.04.
1. Signalling effects of the volatile monoterpene olefins from Cupressus lusitanica cultured cells. .
2. Stereoselective oxidations of terpinolene in Cupressus lusitanica culture cells, [URL].
3. Stereo-selective oxidation of monoterpene in Cupressus lusitanica cells, [URL].
4. Stereo-selective oxidation of monoterpene in Cupressus lusitanica cells (2).
5. Cloning of Cupressus lusitanica terpene synthese cDNA III.
6. Cytochrome P450 enzyme oxidizing terpinolene in Cupressus lusitanica cultured cell (II).
Membership in Academic Society
  • International Society of Chemical Ecology
  • The chemical society of Japan
  • Japan wood research society
  • β-Thujaplicin biosynthesis in Cupressus lusitanica cultured cells
Educational Activities
Forest Bioscience Laboratory
Laboratory Course of Basic Organic Chemistry
Laboratory Course of Basic Measurement
Wood chemistry
Forest Product Science
Other Educational Activities
  • 2024.04.
  • 2015.04.
  • 2007.04.
  • 2011.04.