Noriyuki Doke was born in Nagoya, Japan, on 7 April 1942. He attended Nagoya University and received a B.S. degree in 1965, an M.S. degree in 1967, and a Ph.D. in 1971 in agricultural sciences with a major in plant pathology, studying the physiology and biochemistry of virus-infected plants. In 1972, after a postdoctoral appointment sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Dr. Doke accepted a position as assistant professor in the plant pathology laboratory in the School of Agricultural Sciences at Nagoya University and progressed through the ranks to professor in 1989. He assumed his current position of professor in the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences in 1997.
Professor Doke is an international authority in the physiology and biochemistry of host–pathogen interactions. He began his research on the mechanism of induced resistance and race-cultivar specificity in potato late blight with Professor Kohei Tomiyama. As a postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Joseph Kuc at the University of Kentucky, Professor Doke investigated suppressors as determinants of race-cultivar specificity.
Early in his career, Professor Doke conducted pioneering research on the oxidative burst in the induction of hypersensitive resistance in response to pathogens. His discoveries, made at a time when the phenomenon was not well known in plants, were largely responsible for launching a new era in the study of biochemical and molecular mechanisms of defense responses to pathogens. He demonstrated the novel occurrence of superoxide generation as an early response of potato tuber tissues to incompatible but not compatible races of Phytophthora infestans. He documented this rapid response in potato protoplasts treated with an elicitor from the pathogen as well as a race-specific suppression of elicitor-stimulated superoxide formation by glucans from the pathogen. In subsequent work, Dr. Doke documented the involvement of a membrane-bound NADPH oxidase in the elicitor-stimulated generation of superoxide and showed that resistance against the pathogen could be enhanced by chemical induction of the oxidative burst. He extended these findings to show the involvement of NADPH-dependent and temperature-sensitive superoxide generation in local lesion formation in Tomato mosaic virus-infected N gene tobacco. The citation index of this series of papers and the number of publications on the oxidative burst in various host-pathogen systems during recent years testify to the significance of his contributions. In 1997, Professor Doke was awarded the prize of the Phytopathological Society of Japan for his outstanding contributions to research on mechanisms of active defense in host plants and racespecific pathogenicity of the pathogen in potato late blight.
In addition to his research defining the defense response of plants to pathogen infection and to microbial products, Professor Doke, with graduate student colleagues, has contributed to our understanding of the chemical structure, role, and mode of action of fungal phytotoxins. His recent discovery of a systemically induced oxidative burst provides the basis for his current work on mechanisms of systemic signaling in relation to systemic acquired resistance with the ultimate goal of developing methods for “immunization” of plants against pathogens. His current research efforts also involve characterization of genes and gene products whose expression is influenced by pathogen infection or in response to suppression and elicitation of the defense response.
Professor Doke has contributed significantly to the open line of scientific communication between the United States and Japan. He has been a major participant in the U.S.-Japan Seminars from 1976 through 1999, and has served as an organizer, observer, or speaker in a majority of those seminars. He has been an active member of the Phytopathological Society of Japan since 1965 and has contributed substantially to affairs of that society. He has served on the Council Board since 1989 and as a member of several committees, including the Organizing Committee for Annual Meetings. In addition, Professor Doke is a member of the Council and Editorial Boards of the Japanese Society of Bio-Defense Research, the Kansai Plant Protection Society, and is on the Steering Board of the Nitric Oxide Society of Japan. He has been a member of the American Phytopathological Society since 1976.
Professor Doke is an enthusiastic educator who teaches courses on introductory plant pathology, physiological plant pathology, plant bio-defense science, and plant protection science to undergraduate and graduate students at Nagoya University and other universities. He has supervised and directed the research of numerous undergraduate students and graduate students as well as visiting scientists from China, Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. Professor Doke is the seventh plant pathologist from Japan and the third from Nagoya University, following Professors Ikuzo Uritani and Kohei Tomiyama, to be presented the Fellow Award of APS. Indeed, Professor Doke’s research accomplishments and his influential contributions to plant pathology set him apart as a leader and a worthy recipient of this distinction.