Kihara Institute for Biological Research

The Kihara Institute for Biological Research (KIBR) originated in a foundation established by Dr.Hitoshi Kihara, who led the world in promoting genomic concepts with a magnificent track record in genetics and the evolutionary study of wheat and other higher plants. The traditions of the research institute were continued after it was subsequently put under the management of Yokohama City University, and its conversion to a public university marked the start of a new challenge as it plays the role expected of it, in advancing life science through botanical research in the 21st century.

Forward with the Heritage from Kihara

The KIBR has a store of genetic resources - about 6000 strains of wheat and 800 types of chili peppers - that are precious in both global and historical terms. As the population continues to grow amid global changes in environment, and to ensure sustainable production of food, the KIBR will conduct comprehensive genome analysis on the diversity and functionality of plants. The institute will also develop plant science research that can only be conducted in the KIBR labs, such as growing crops that have wide-ranging environmental adaptability, or introducing unique functional genes into cultivated wheat and chili peppers.

Pioneer of Genome Theory

Dr. Hitoshi Kihara achieved numerous research accomplishments in the fields of higher plant genetics and evolutionary studies in the 20th Century. In particular, he advocated the genome theory, discovered the ancestry of common wheat, discovered the sex chromosome in higher plants by studying sorrel, and created seedless watermelons using polyploidy, which was a world-renowned research outcome. Also, not only did he train a large number of successors in cell genetics and a variety of other fields, he also explored the world time and time again in search of new plants, plaving the way for Japanese field science in the process.

Source of photograph
Plant Genetic Resource Science

Utilization of biological resources for breeding

Strengthening environmental adaptability and disease resistance of plants

Plant Genome Science

Genetic modification and improvement

Increasing yield through improvement of ear share ad grass shape

Plant Biotechnology

Research on plant hormone biosynthesis and growth control function

Development of plant growth agent & new agrichemicals

Plant Epigenome Research

Clarifying gene expression control mechanisms

Elucidaion of epigenetic mechanisms for parental gene expression


Message from the Director

The Kihara Institute of Biological Research is an affiliated research institute of Yokohama City University. The institute is a building with a novel design that blends naturally and has an environment in which it can be devoted to research, and it can be said that it is a mecca of plant research.

The Kihara Institute of Biological Research is a rare research institute in Japan that bears the name of an individual. This was due to the transfer of the original research institution, founded in 1942 by the late Dr. Hitoshi Kihara, one of the founders of modern genetics in Japan, to Yokohama City University in 1984. In 1995, we built a new building in Maioka and re-started as a research institute suitable for Yokohama, an international cultural city, for regional development and industrial development in Yokohama City.

The Kihara Institute for Biological Research conducts research using genomic science methods, mainly using the wheat and capsicum genetic resources collected and stored by Dr. Kihara's group from around the world. Many of these studies have been published and highly evaluated in world-renowned academic journals. Recently, we are actively promoting international cooperation by actively collaborating with well-known domestic and overseas research institutions such as RIKEN.

Through these researches, we aim to contribute to a global research institute that contributes to the stable supply of food and environmental conservation in line with Yokohama City University's second mid-term plan and contribute to the promotion of industry suitable to the city of Yokohama. We also want to focus on interacting with the local community. Our catchphrase is "Forward with the heritage from Kihara". We are also committed to holistic science education that sends significant human resources to the world based on unique research.

Kihara Memorial Room

This memorial room exhibits and introduces the documents and personal artices featuring the achievements of the late Dr. Hitoshi KIhara, the founder of the Kihara Institute for Biological Research. We once had the honour of welcoming the Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita of Japan here. We look forward to your visit to this memorial room.

Hours: 10:00 - 16:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Contact info

+81(0)45 820 1900

+81(0)45 820 1901
Our location

641-12 Maioka-cho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 244-0813 Japan

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