BIOTEC and JST award three joint projects in Strategic Japanese-Thai Cooperative Program in Biotechnology 2012


Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) developed a scheme for joint funding of Japanese-Thai cooperative research projects called “Strategic Japanese-Thai Cooperative Program” to strengthen the collaboration in science and technology between Japan and Thailand.

“After discussion between JST and NSTDA, Biotechnology has been selected as the field of research for which the joint funding scheme will be applied to in this year. BIOTEC as a member of NSTDA is pleased to execute this program on behalf of NSTDA, as it will serve as a vehicle to achieve world-class scientific results, leading towards new innovative technologies” said Dr. Kanyawim Kirtikara, BIOTEC Executive Director.
Dr. Nakamura Michiharu, JST President stated that “for the 2012 Call, JST and BIOTEC agree to fund three bilateral projects, which we plan to support them for cooperative research projects including sending and inviting researchers to the counterpart country.”
A total of 16 proposals were submitted from 20 academic and research institutes in Japan and Thailand. The following three projects were selected for funding by the Joint Committee:
  • Identification of genes confer high Fe and Fe toxic tolerance in rice. Led by Dr. Vinitchan Ruanjaichon from Rice Gene Discovery Unit, BIOTEC and Prof. Dr. Naoko Nishizawa from Research Institute for Bioresources and Biotechnology, Ishikawa Prefectural University, the project aims to find a new allele identification of genes associated with high grain Fe density and tolerance to Fe toxicity which is now a major problem that contributes to the reduction of rice yields. Such findings will open the way for effective manipulation to breed new rice varieties for high grain Fe density to alleviate Fe-malnutrition problem.
  • DNA chip for identification and typing Mycobacterium tuberculosis using DigiTag platform.In this project, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angkana Chaiprasert from Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University and Prof. Dr. Katsushi Tokunaga from Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, aim todevelop DNA chip for identification and typing M. tuberculosis into different sequence types. The result will benefit TB vaccine development, treatment and control strategies in the future.
  • Bacteriophage biocontrol for sustainable crop production: application to bacterial wilt. The project leaders, Prof. Dr. Takashi Yamada of Hiroshima University and Dr. Orawan Chatchawankanphanich of BIOTEC, plan to use an integrated bacteriophage technology to characterize and develop a detection method for bacteriophages isolated in Thailand.  The findings will lead to stable managements of crop rotation, resistant plant breeds, general bacterial biocontrol and contribute much to increase in crop yields.

The Strategic Japanese-Thai Cooperative Programwas developed under the Memorandum of Understanding between JST and NSTDA in 2009. An important principle of the Program is that the collaborations between Thailand and Japan should build on and strengthen on-going research activities in each research group, and the outcome of these should benefit people in both countries.
About Japan Science and Technology Agency
The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan which establishes an infrastructure for the creation and sharing of knowledge to benefit society. Its mission is to promote science and technology with the objective of advancing national welfare and prosperity. For more information, visit

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Posted on 27 July 2012