Takeshi Fukao

Ph.D., Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2002
M.S., Agronomy and Horticultural Sciences, Kyoto University, 1998
B.S., Plant Breeding, Kyoto Prefectural University, 1996

2012 - Present - Assistant Professor, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
2011 - 2012 - Associate Specialist, Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside
2008 - 2011 - Assistant Specialist, Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside
2003 - 2007 - Postdoctoral Researcher, Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside

Link to curriculum vita

Courses Taught

  • CSES4344 - Crop Physiology and Ecology
  • CSES5344 - Advanced Crop Physiology
  • CSES 4144 - Plant Breeding and Genetics

Program Focus
A variety of environmental stresses increasingly damage food, feed, and bioenergy production worldwide as a consequence of global climate change. To meet growing food/energy demands using less water, fertilizers, and other inputs, it is imperative to enhance abiotic stress tolerance of major crop species in a timely manner. My laboratory focusses on elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms underlying response and tolerance to submergence, drought, and nutrient deficiency in rice, soybean, and wheat, aiding in the improvement of stress tolerance in the major crop species.
Our current research projects are:
•    Identification and functional characterization of genes involved in submergence and drought tolerance in rice and soybean using a combination of approaches including genetics, genomics, physiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics.
•    Comprehensive and systematic understanding of the complex signaling networks which orchestrate multiple stress tolerance (submergence, drought, and nutrient deficiency) in rice and soybean.
•    Physiological and molecular dissection of nitrogen use efficiency in wheat.

Role of Graduate Students

Graduate students can learn various knowledge and skills that are of benefit to enhance their career development through their research activities. In my laboratory, graduate students are expected to:
•    Master a range of analytical techniques commonly used for modern plant physiology and molecular biology research.
•    Experience experimental design, trouble-shooting, and project management under the           guidance of their academic advisor.
•    Develop mentoring and advising skills by supervising research of undergraduate students.
•    Foster public speaking and academic writing skills through presentation of their research accomplishments in scientific meetings and writing of dissertation/research papers.

Future Research

In addition to our ongoing research programs, we plan to work in the following research areas by taking advantage of resources and opportunities available in the department, college, and university.
•    Extend our knowledge and techniques to other important crop species.
•    Investigate physiological and molecular bases of acclimation response to other abiotic stress which occurs along with submergence and drought (e.g., oxidative stress after submergence, salinity after inundation of sea water, and nutrient deficiency during drought).

Takeshi Fukao
  • 540-231-9527
  • fukao@vt.edu
  • RB1880
    Suite 1129, Room 1117
    Blacksburg, Virginia