Integration of microbiology, genomics, and theoretical ecology toward understanding and utilizing the “built-in stabilizer” of biosphere

Project Gist

Integration of ecology, microbiology, and informatics for understanding microbiome dynamics


symbiosis, microorganisms, ecosystems, networks

Background and Purpose

Recent innovations in high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies have allowed us to collect massive data of microorganisms in various types of ecosystems including human gut, soil, and plant endosphere. In this project, we develop a consortium of young scientist in ecology, microbiology, and information science in order to launch an interdisciplinary project for understanding mechanisms common to the dynamics of various microbiomes.

Project Achievements

We have developed a consortium of young scientists who investigates diverse types of microbiomes from various types of approaches including theoretical ecology and bioinformatics. The research proposal of the SPIRITS project leader (Hirokazu Toju) was accepted as JST PRESTO project.

Future Prospects

The SPIRITS project leader is planning to investigate the complex microbiome structure of bacteria and fungi living in plant tissue and thereby explore mechanisms driving the microbiome dynamics based on network theory.


Networks of plant species and their root-associated fungi (Science Advances 1: e1500291)
Networks of plant species and their root-associated fungi (Science Advances 1: e1500291)

Principal Investigator

TOJU Hirokazu

・TOJU Hirokazu
・Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies
・Hirokazu Toju is an associate professor of Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University. He is interested in the ecological and evolutionary processes of species-rich ecosystems and has launched interdisciplinary research groups for understanding the dynamics of plant microbiomes.