Associate Professor


Elucidation of microbial species related to fiber degradation or metabolic disorders and exploration of functional feed materials optimizing gut fermentation in herbivore animals

My Dream

To contribute to sustanable food production


Research Center for Global Agromedicine, Department of Agriculture and Animal Science

Research Department, Department of Life and Food Sciences, Division of Animal Production, Section of Animal Husbandry

Field of research Animal Nutrition, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Phygiology, Microbial Genomics, Microbiome
Keyword ruminant, herbivore, monogastoric animal, wildlife, feed, unused resource, feed additive, probiotics, prebiotics, rumen, fiber degradation, digestion, fermentation, microbe, intestinal bacteria, microbiome, next generation sequencing, metagenomics, bioinformatics


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.

in vitro batch culture simulating gut environment
Microbial community analysis using next generation sequencing

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
Academic degree Ph.D. in Agriculture
Room address General Research Building 1
Room number S3103-1
Mail address n.fukumax atmark