Nishida Prize

Yuki Morono


Exploration of the nature and ecophysiology of subseafloor microbial biosphere by developments of cutting-edge life-detection techniques

A list of five major papers

  • Heuer VB, Inagaki F, Morono Y, Kubo Y, Spivack AJ, Viehweger B, Treude T, Beulig F, Schubotz F, Tonai S, Bowden SA, Cramm M, Henkel S, Hirose T, Homola K, Hoshino T, Ijiri A, Imachi H, Kamiya N, Kaneko M, Lagostina L, Manners H, McClelland H-L, Metcalfe K, Okutsu N, Pan D, Raudsepp MJ, Sauvage J, Tsang M-Y, Wang DT, Whitaker E, Yamamoto Y, Yang K, Maeda L, Adhikari RR, Glombitza C, Hamada Y, Kallmeyer J, Wendt J, Wörmer L, Yamada Y, Kinoshita M, Hinrichs K-U (2020). Temperature limits to deep subseafloor life in the Nankai Trough subduction zone. Science 370: 1230-1234.
  • Morono Y, Ito M, Hoshino T, Terada T, Hori T, Ikehara M, D’Hondt S, Inagaki F (2020a). Aerobic microbial life persists in oxic marine sediment as old as 101.5 million years. Nat. Commun. 11: 9.
  • Uramoto GI*, Morono Y*, Tomioka N, Wakaki S, Nakada R, Wagai R, Uesugi K, Takeuchi A, Hoshino M, Suzuki Y, Shiraishi F, Mitsunobu S, Suga H, Takeichi Y, Takahashi Y, Inagaki F (2019). Significant contribution of subseafloor microparticles to the global manganese budget. Nat. Commun. 10: 10. (*:equal contribution)
  • Morono Y, Terada T, Nishizawa M, Ito M, Hillion F, Takahata N, Sano Y, Inagaki F (2011). Carbon and nitrogen assimilation in deep subseafloor microbial cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 108: 18295-18300.
  • Morono Y, Terada T, Masui N, Inagaki F (2009). Discriminative detection and enumeration of microbial life in marine subsurface sediments. ISME J.. 3: 503-511.

Major achievements

The importance of the microbial ecosystem under the seafloor is recognized as a field which harbors the large microbial biomass on the earth. Yuki Morono developed techniques to quantify biomass and metabolism of microorganisms under the seafloor, and succeeded in elucidating the microbial ecophysiology in various marine sediments. He also applied the microbiological techniques to geoscientific fields and successfully quantified microminerals in sediments. These developed techniques are highly evaluated worldwide, and contribute to show the Japanese commitment on international scientific drilling. He is also actively engaged in public outreach of the ocean drilling plan inside Japan and the world. His leadership is expected for the future.


Yoshio Takahashi