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Home > Tenured Faculties > Komatsu Ken

Tenured Faculties

Komatsu Ken

Affiliation Institute of Agriculture
Division Division of Bioregulation and Biointeraction
Research field Plant Pathology, Plant Virology, Molecular Biology
Keyword(S) Plant virus, RNA, replication, plant resistance against viruses
Research experience

・Apr. 2007-Mar. 2008: Research Fellow, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・Apr. 2008-Mar. 2009: Project Researcher, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・Apr. 2009-Mar. 2012: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・Apr. 2012-Apr. 2013: Project Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・May. 2013-Dec. 2013: Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・Jan. 2014-Dec. 2018: Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
・Jan. 2019-Present: Associate Professor(Tenured), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Educational background

・2002, Bachelor of Agriculture in Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・2004, Master of Life Science in Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
・2007, Ph.D of Life Science in Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo


* The latest information is shown at the member's website.
(At Nov. 2014)

・2013: The Young Scientist Award in the Phytopathological Society of Japan
・2014: 第13回日本農学進歩賞

Selected papers and publications

* The latest information is shown at the member's website.
(At Jan. 2014)

・Komatsu K., Hashimoto M., Okano Y., Keima T., Kitazawa Y., Nijo T., Takahashi S., Maejima K., Yamaji Y., and Namba S. “Construction of an infectious cDNA clone of radish mosaic virus, a crucifer-infecting comovirus. ” Archives of Virology 158 (2013) 1579-1582.
・Sugawara K., Honma Y., Komatsu K., Himeno M., Oshima K., and Namba S. “The alteration of plant morphology by small peptides released from the proteolytic processing of the bacterial peptide TENGU.” Plant Physiology 162 (2013) 2005-2014.
・Yamaji Y., Maejima K., Komatsu K., Shiraishi T., Okano Y., Himeno M., Sugawara K., Neriya Y., Minato N., Miura C., Hashimoto M., and Namba S. “Lectin-mediated resistance impairs plant virus infection at the cellular level.” Plant Cell 24 (2012) 778-793.
・Komatsu K., Hirata H., Fukagawa T., Yamaji Y., Okano Y., Ishikawa K., Adachi T., Maejima K., Hashimoto M., and Namba S. “Infection of capilloviruses requires subgenomic RNAs whose transcription is controlled by promoter-like sequences conserved among flexiviruses. ” Virus Research 167 (2012) 8-15.
・Komatsu K., Hashimoto M., Maejima K., Shiraishi T., Neriya Y., Miura C., Minato N., Okano Y., Sugawara K., Yamaji Y., and Namba S. “ A necrosis-inducing elicitor domain encoded by both symptomatic and asymptomatic Plantago asiatica mosaic virus isolates, whose expression is modulated by virus replication. ” Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 24 (2011) 408-420.
・Komatsu, K.*, Hashimoto, M.*, Ozeki, J., Yamaji, Y., Maejima, K., Senshu, H., Himeno, M., Okano, Y., Kagiwada, S., and Namba, S. “Viral-induced systemic necrosis in plants involves both programmed cell death and the inhibition of viral multiplication, which are regulated by independent pathways.” Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 23 (2010) 283-293. * equal contribution
・Komatsu, K., Hatada K., Hashimoto, M., Ozeki, J., Maejima, K., Kagiwada, S., Yamaji, Y., and Namba, S. “Complete nucleotide sequence of a California isolate of Radish mosaic virus. ” Archives of Virology 153 (2008) 2167-2168.
・Komatsu, K., Yamaji, Y., Ozeki, J., Hashimoto, M., Kagiwada, S., Takahashi, S., and Namba, S. “Nucleotide sequence analysis of seven Japanese isolates of Plantago asiatica mosaic virus (PlAMV): a unique potexvirus with significantly high genomic and biological variability within the species. ” Archives of Virology 153 (2008) 193-198.
・Komatsu, K., Hashimoto, M., Maejima, K., Ozeki, J., Kagiwada, S., Takahashi, S., Yamaji, Y., and Namba, S. “Genome sequence of a Japanese isolate of Radish mosaic virus: the first complete nucleotide sequence of a crucifer-infecting comovirus.” Archives of Virology 152 (2007) 1501-1506.
・Komatsu, K., Kagiwada, S., Takahashi, S., Mori, T., Yamaji, Y., Hirata, H., Ozeki, J., Yoshida, A., Suzuki, M., Ugaki, M. and Namba, S. “Phylogenetic characteristics, genomic heterogeneity and symptomatic variation of five closely related Japanese strains of Potato virus X. ” Virus Genes 31 (2005) 99-105.

Research Description

My field of research is plant pathology, which is the study of plant disease and pathogens that cause disease. Considering the increasingly serious food problems in the future, it is very important to control plant diseases that could reduce plant yields by as much as 30%. To date, my research has focused on plant viruses, especially RNA viruses, which cannot be controlled by chemical application that can effectively control fungal and bacterial diseases. In the early stages of an academic career, I had concentrated on diagnosis of plant diseases including viruses and the identification of the causal agents of the diseases. Recently, I have been investigating molecular mechanism underlying symptom expression by plant viruses, especially of systemic necrosis that can lead to death of the whole plant. To date, our results have provided evidence for the continuity between systemic necrosis and plant defense responses against viruses. Based on these results, I am now trying to expand my research into the field of plant disease control. Toward this goal, I am focusing virus replication, an early stage of plant virus infection. Understanding the mechanisms by which plants resist virus infections may highlight possible targets for future development of antiviral drugs.

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About TUAT's tenure-track program

The TUAT Tenure Track Program is a meaningful project that provides ideal research environments including a sufficient startup fund, an independent laboratory space, and strong mentoring supports. Also, during the tenure-track period, administrative duties such as teaching and management are reduced. Thanks to these special treatment, we can focus on research projects, expanding our scope of research. Members of this program can take advantage of this opportunity to build basis for long-term, original research.

Future aspirations

Plant pathology, one of my research fields, is an interdisciplinary science field that intergrates knowledge including microbiology, plant science, genetics and biochemistry. To date, it has made a significant contribution in disease protection of food crops, as well as in scientific develoment of other fields such as molecular biology and plant biotechnology. Also, findings from this academic field can lead to the solution to the global food problem. I' m going to promote frontier researches on this field, which can attract young students and introduce them to the field. Through these efforts, as well as discussion and collaboration with other members of TUAT, I would like to contribute to facilitating research activities in the University in the future.