This laboratory is working on understanding the activities of living organisms in the forest, like trees and mushrooms, from the organic and biochemical point of view. We are also doing research on how these actions can be used to enhance human life, such as by breaking down and detoxifying environmental pollutants, and searching for physiologically active substances obtainable from trees. It plays the role of a natural preservative that prevents timber from decaying easily. Although ordinary micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi cannot decompose lignin, there is one oddball micro-organism in forests that does break lignin down. This micro-organism is called white-rot fungus because it makes timber turn white and decay.