My research target is microbes related to fiber degradation/fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract of herbivore animals including ruminants. Herbivore animals, such as cattle, grow by eating grass, but actually animals themselves are not capable of digesting grass. In their gut there are 1 to 10 billions of microorganisms, and they degrade and ferment plant fibrous materials and convert it into nutrients. When these microorganisms function normally, digestion of plant fibers and absorption of nutrients are smoothly carried out, but when the microbial balance gets lost, metabolic disorder can happen. So, my research goal is to answer the following questions; in the herbivore gut microbial fermentation, 1) what is the optimum balance, 2) what is the factor which disorders it, and 3) what is the way to optimise it. In my research, samples are taken from both of in vitro and in vivo experiments, and microorganisms are detected using molecular biological methods. Our recent approach is detecting “microbiome”, which is an assembly of microorganisms, and we perform comprehensive analysis using next generation sequencing technology. Using such various approaches, we have been trying to identify the microorganisms which are important for fiber digestion or related to metabolic disorders and evaluate the effect of feed supplements and functional feed materials.
List of current research topics
Elucidation of fiber degrading system in herbivore gastrointestinal tract
Determination of microbial species related to metabolic disorders in herbivore animals
Exploration of functional feed materials optimizing gut fermentation
Affiliated academic society
Japanese Society for Rumen Metabolism and Physiology, Japanese Society of Animal Science
Ph.D. in Agriculture
I am Naoki, from Hiroshima. My research target is microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract of herbivore animals. I like playing the clarinet, taking photographs, and drinking whisky.