The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Goro Kokubugata, Principal Investigator, Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science

Gaining a biological understanding of endangered flora of the Ryukyu Archipelago through global research

Research grant

Project Description

This study will focus on endangered plant species of the Ryukyu Archipelago, one of the world's leading biodiversity hot-spots. We will compare the external forms of the plants and use DNA to carry out a molecular phylogenetic analysis, and will compare the global distributions of plants in beyond Kyushu, Japan, to include Taiwan, China and other regions. Based on these research we will gain an understanding of the distribution of these plants that transcends national boundaries. We will promote a viewpoint of classification that better reflects the phylogenetic background, build a database that can be used internationally, encourage species identification (including cryptic species) and clarify the factors that make biodiversity unique to the Ryukyu Archipelago.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2010 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2011 - March 2014
Grant amount
7,560,000 yen
Activity region
Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan), Taiwan, China
Plant research at the Ryukyu Archipelago (Izenajima)

Overview of the Organization

Goro Kokubugata, Principal Investigator
Goro Kokubugata, Principal Investigator
Specialist fields
Plant taxonomy, plant geography
Affiliated academic societies
The Japanese Society for Plant Systematics (JSPS)
Completed doctoral course (science), Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, 1997; Researcher, Tsukuba Botanical Garden, National Museum of Nature and Science, 1997; Researcher, Diversity Analysis and Protection Group (Tsukuba Botanical Garden), Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, 2007 * reorganized; Principal Investigator, Diversity Analysis and Protection Group (Tsukuba Botanical Garden), Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, 2008
WEB site
Masatsugu Yokota, Professor, University of the Ryukyus; Chief Researcher, Taiwan Academia Sinica; Takeshi Nakamura, Doctoral Researcher, Taiwan Academia Sinica
Research record
  • (1) KOKUBUGATA, G. et al., 2011. Phytogeographic aspects of Lysionotus pauciflorus sensu lato (Gesneriaceae) in the China, Japan and Taiwan regions:phylogenetic and morphological relationships and taxonomic consequences. Plant Syst. Evol. 292: 177-188.
  • (2) Kokubugata, G. et al., 2010. Evidence of three parallel evolutions of leaf dwarfism and phytogeography in Lysimachia sect. Nummularia in Japan and Taiwan. Mol. Phylogenetics Evol. 54: 657-663.
  • (3) KOKUBUGATA G., et al., 2010. Note on the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of endangered plant spices in the Ryukyus. Korean Journal of Plant Taxonomy 40: 193-201.
  • (4) Goro KOKUBUGATA et al., 2007. Ryukyu Rettou no Zetsumetsu Kigu Shokubutsu III. Nani o Subeki ka - Shokubutsu-en o Chuushin ni - (Endangered plants of the Ryukyu Archipelago III. What to do - Focusing on botanical gardens -). Conservation of Plant Diversity in Japanese Botanical Gardens, Japan Association of Botanical Gardens, pp. 235-243. Tokyo.