Kazuo Shinozaki is a plant molecular biologist recognized for his work on the plant regulatory gene network in abiotic environmental stresses. He is known particularly for his studies on transcriptional regulation of stress-inducible plant genes, signal transduction in abiotic stress responses and tolerance, regulatory network in phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) responses and Arabidopsis functional genomics. Shinozaki was born and grew up in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Japan. He graduated from Osaka University with a degree in biology, and took a Ph.D. of molecular biology in Nagoya University in 1977. He joined the faculty in Molecular Genetics Department at National Institute of Genetics, Mishima Japan in 1978, and then became an associate professor of Department of Biology, Nagoya University. He determined whole genome sequence of tobacco chloroplast in 1986. He then was promoted to be Chief Scientist of Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory of Tsukuba Life Science Center of RIKEN in 1989. He became Director of Plant Science Center (PSC) of RIKEN in 2005, and then Director of Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) of RIKEN in 2013. From 2020, he became Senior Advisor of RIKEN CSRS. He is also Group Director of Gene Discovery Research Group of CSRS. He was president of Japan Society of Plant Physiologists in 2010-2011. He was awarded as Person of Merit for the Contribution to Culture and Medal with Purple Ribbon for the Contribution to Science Japan in 2016. He was selected as a corresponding member of American Society of Plant Biologist in 2015. He was selected as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences of USA in 2020.

Research Interests

Kazuo Shinozaki's laboratory is interested in molecular basis of regulatory systems in plant response to abiotic stresses, such as drought, heat and cold, and application of the stress-related genes in molecular breeding of stress resistant crops and vegetables. They have examined stress-inducible genes and their profiles to show not only abscisic acid (ABA)-regulated transcription but also ABA-independent one in abiotic stress responses. They identified key transcription factors DREBs and AREBs in both regulatory systems. They have analyzed regulatory systems of ABA-dependent regulation in stress responses to identify important factors in biosynthesis and metabolism, cellular stress signaling including SnRK2 and MAP kinases and a sensor kinase. They also have identified ABA transporters and CLE peptide as long-distance stress signal in complex drought stress responses. Shinozaki?s group carried out an Arabidopsis functional genomics project to collect full-length cDNAs and mutant lines with tagged genes. They used the genomics resources to identify novel stress genes and cross talk between different stress responses. Moreover, they opened their resources for plant science community from RIKEN BioResource Center. Recently, they challenge omics research including phenome analysis by using their original phenotyping system named RIPPS for the promotion of data science to predict proper combination of growth conditions and genotypes of model plants, crops and vegetables.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences