In this research, we will develop the following three key technologies to reduce N₂O: (i) Enhancement of the activity of microbial N₂O reductase by genome editing, (ii) Design of chemicals that control the rate of N₂O production based on genomic and metagenomic information, and (iii) Development of microbial materials that enables N₂O-reducing microorganisms to function stably in soil. By integrating these three technologies, we will establish innovative ecosystem for N₂O reduction in soil.
Ⅲ-1: Development of genome-edited N₂O-detoxifying microorganism with highly enhanced N₂O-reduction activity
In this project, we develop genome-edited N₂O-detoxifying microorganism with highly enhanced N₂O-reduction activity. For this purpose, we employ rational approaches for enzyme engineering and de novo design involving structure-based methods to improve N₂O-reducing activity of the target enzyme.
Ⅲ-2: Development of inhibitors to reduce N₂O emissions by the combined use of structure-based drug design and metagenome analysis
In this project, we utilize the structure-based drug design to develop new nitrification and denitrification inhibitors that reduce nitrous oxide (N₂O) emissions from agricultural soils. We design and optimize chemical structures of the inhibitors to inhibit target enzymes even from a wide variety of uncultured soil microoganisms utilizing information on N₂O-producing enzyme genes obtained by metagenomic analysis.
III-3: Development of technology that enables inoculated microorganisms to demonstrate excellent persistence and function in soil.
Microorganisms inoculated into the fields are excluded and rarely demonstrate their useful functions, which is a bottleneck when microbial materials are applied to the field. In this project, we create carriers that mimic soil microstructure using substances for microbial stabilization, and evaluate their microbial colonization. We develop microbial materials that enable N₂O-reducing microorganisms to survive and function stably in soil.