Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Nonami, professor at the Plant Biophysics/Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Biomechanical Systems, Graduate School of Agriculture & the Division of Proteomics Research, Proteo-Science Center, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan, received the JAICABE Award 2018 from the Japan Association of International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (JAICABE) and simultaneously, the Shin-Norin Co. Award from Mr. Yoshinori Kishida, CEO/President of Shin-Norin Co., Ltd. of Japan, publisher of Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America magazines and other publications, at Toichiro Nakashima Memorial Hall at the University of Tokyo on May 15, 2018.
JAICABE consists of 9 academic societies and the Association of Agricultural Electrification which is a consortium of 127 groups, companies and corporate entities. The total number of the membership of the JAICABE is 14,853 as of April, 2017. JAICABE works in the fields of agricultural engineering, mechanization and technology related programs in education, research, development, consultation and/or technology transfer that have resulted in improved food production, living conditions and/or education in different parts of the world.
The JAICABE Award recognizes Prof. Dr. Nonami’s outstanding research contributions in “Cell molecular measurement techniques by soft ionization mass spectrometry together with in situ cell turgor determination.” A cell pressure probe was used for turgor determination of an in situ individual plant cell, followed by measurements of cell osmotic pressure, water potential, cell volume, elastic modulus, hydraulic conductivity as physiological water status measurements. After checking physiological parameters of the individual cell, cell sap can be sampled with a capillary of the pressure probe from the same cell. Cell solution can be ionized either by the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) method or the electrospray ionization (ESI) method for mass spectrometric analysis., i.e., soft ionization mass spectrometry. Most significantly, this particular ESI technique is referred to as picoliter-pressure probe electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (picoPPESI-MS). By using picoPPESI-MS, in situ cell metabolomics analysis can be conducted continuously in real time without destruction of sample plants, and thus, real time cell molecular components can be analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively when plants are subjected to environmental stresses. PicoPPESI-MS has revolutionized single cell research in metabolomics and related physiological research in agricultural engineering, and perhaps beyond.