Department of Biological Mechanisms and Functions

Division of Biofunctions Development


FAX: +81-52-789-4032
Assoc. Prof. MIURA, Ken D. Sci. k-miura@
Lecturer MINAKUCHI, Chieka D. Agr. c_mina@

We contribute to Bio-Agricultural Science fields by elucidating physiological function of insects at the molecular level through biochemical, physiological, morphological and toxicological approaches in the context of relationships among insects, as well as with other organisms and xenobiotics. We aim at applying knowledge gained from these studies in pest management. Ongoing projects are as follows:

  1. Insect Immune Defense against Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Pathogens
  2. Molecular Modes of Action of Insect Hormones
  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Insecticides Resistance

Recent publications:

  1. Yokoi K, Hayakawa Y, Kato D, Minakuchi C, Tanaka T, Ochiai M, Kamiya K, Miura K. Prophenoloxidase genes and antimicrobial host defense of the model beetle, Tribolium castaneum. J Invertebr Pathol 132, 190-200 (2015)
  2. Koyama H, Kato D, Minakuchi C, Tanaka T, Yokoi K, Miura K. Peptidoglycan recognition protein genes and their roles in the innate immune pathways of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. J Invertebr Pathol 132, 86-100 (2015)
  3. Suzuki Y, Furuta K, Maeda K, Yokoi K, Miura K, Tanaka T, Minakuchi C. Insecticidal activity and up-regulation of juvenile hormone response genes by juvenile hormone agonists in the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. J Pestic Sci 40, 92-98 (2015)
  4. Minakuchi C, Ishii F, Washidu Y, Ichikawa A, Tanaka T, Miura K, Shinoda T. Expressional and functional analysis of CYP15A1, a juvenile hormone epoxidase, in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. J Insect Physiol 80, 61-70 (2015)
  5. Minakuchi C, Ohde T, Miura K, Tanaka T, Niimi T. Role of scalloped in the post-embryonic development of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Appl Ent Zool 50, 17-26 (2015)
  6. Morishita C*, Minakuchi C*, Yokoi T, Takimoto S, Hosoda A, Akamatsu M, Tamura H, Nakagawa Y. (*equally contributed)  cDNA cloning of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle (USP) from Harmonia axyridis and Epilachna vigintioctopunctata and the evaluation of the binding affinity of ecdysone agonists to the in vitro translated EcR/USP heterodimers. J Pestic Sci 39, 76-84 (2014)
  7. Yokoi K, Koyama H, Ito W, Minakuchi C, Tanaka T, Miura K. Involvement of NF-kappaB transcription factors in antimicrobial peptide gene induction in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Dev Comp Immunol 38, 342-351 (2012)
  8. Yokoi K, Koyama H, Minakuchi C, Tanaka T, Miura K. Antimicrobial peptide gene induction, involvement of Toll and IMD pathways and defense against bacteria in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Results Immunol 2, 72-82 (2012)
  9. Minakuchi C, Tanaka M, Miura K, Tanaka T. Developmental profile and hormonal regulation of the transcription factors broad and Krüppel homolog 1 in hemimetabolous thrips. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 41, 125-134 (2011)


  Fax: +81-52-789-4036
Prof. IKEDA, Motoko D. Agr. mochiko@
Asst. Prof. YAMADA, Hayato D. Agr. h_yamada@

Our interest is concentrated on learning about and explaining the living potency of insects which are the most successful organisms on this planet. Through the molecular studies on silkworm physiology and pathology as the core subject, we are now trying to construct a new insect science which provides fundamental insight for future development of agriculture and biotechnology. To achieve this domestic and international cooperation is actively encouraged.

  1. Molecular Mechanism of Baculovirus Infection
  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Antiviral Response in Baculovirus
  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Host Range Determination of Baculovirus

Recent Publications:

  1. Yamada, H., Shibuya, M., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2011) Identification of a novel apoptosis suppressor gene from the baculovirus Lymantria dispar multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus. J. Virol. 85, 5237–5242.
  2. Suganuma, I., Ushiyama, T., Yamada, H., Iwamoto, A., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2011) Cloning and characterization of a dronc homologue in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Insect. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 41, 909-921.
  3. Hamajima, R., Ito, Y., Ichikawa, H., Mitsutake, H., Kobyashi, J., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2013) Degradation of ribosomal RNA in BM-N cells from the silkworm Bombyx mori during abortive infection with heterologous nucleopolyhedroviruses. J. Gen. Virol. 94, 2102-2111.
  4. Yamada, H., Kitaguchi, K., Hamajima, R., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2013) Novel apoptosis suppressor Apsup from the baculovirus Lymantria dispar multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus precludes apoptosis through preventing proteolytic processing and activation of initiator caspase Dronc. J. Virol. 87, 12925-12934.
  5. Hamajima, R., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2014) p143-mediated rRNA degradation in AcMNPV-infected BM-N cells is not associated with viral DNA replication. J. Insect Biotechnol. Sericol. 83, 19-23.
  6. Hamajima, R., Kobayashi, M. and Ikeda, M. (2015) Identification of amino acid residues of AcMNPV P143 protein involved in rRNA degradation and restricted viral replication in BM-N cells from the silkworm Bombyx mori. Virology 485, 244-251.


FAX: +81-52-789-4079
Prof. YAMAMOTO, Naoyuki D. Sci., D.M.S. nyama@
Assoc. Prof. ABE, Hideki D. Sci. habe@
Asst. Prof. GOTO, Maki D. Agr. makigoto@

Our research aims to understand the mechanisms that underlie various behavior of aquatic animals, primarily fish. Such studies extend our knowledge on fish and provide the biological basis applicable to fisheries. We focus on the central and peripheral mechanisms that control sensory and motor functions as wells as reproductive and circadian rhythmic activities. To this end, multidisciplinary approaches are adopted including morphological, physiological, and molecular studies, and the following research projects are now in progress:

  1. Neuronal Circuitries that Control Sensory and Motor functions, and Their Adaptive Evolution in Fishes
  2. Neurobiology of Visual Systems in Fishes
  3. Neuropeptidergic and Associated Neuronal Systems that Regulate Reproduction in Fishes
  4. Genetic and Endocrine Basis of Circadian Rhythms in Lower Vertebrates


FAX: +81-52-789-4080
Prof. HONDO, Eiichi D.V.M. ehondo@
Assoc. Prof. OHMORI, Yasushige D. Agr. ohmori@
HRP-labeled sympathetic postganglionic neurons in the celiac and cranial mesenteric ganglion after HRP injection into the intestine of the cattle.

Our research is focused on the comparative and functional morphology of birds and mammals. We are carrying out morphological studies on the pathways and neurotransmitters of the autonomic nervous system and the reproductive regulation mechanisms in domestic and laboratory animals using tract-tracing, histochemical, immunohistochemical, and molecular biological techniques.

The current research projects are as follows:

  1. Neuronal pathways of the autonomic innervation and neurotransmitters of the intramural nerve plexus in the digestive and reproductive systems of the chicken.
  2. Localization of influenza virus receptors in the respiratory and digestive organs of the chicken.
  3. Reproductive mechanisms during implantation in laboratory animals.

Recent publications:

  1. Kobayashi, R., Terakawa, J., Kato, Y., Azimi, S., Inoue, N., Ohmori, Y. and Hondo, E. (2014) The contribution of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) for embryo implantation differs among strains of mice. Immunobiology 219: 512-521.
  2. Terakawa, J., Watanabe, T., Obara, R., Sugiyama, M., Inoue, N., Ohmori, Y., Hosaka, Y. Z. and Hondo, E. (2012) The complete control of murine pregnancy from embryo implantation to parturition. Reproduction 143: 411-415.
  3. Ohmori, Y., Atoji, Y., Saito, S., Ueno, H., Inoshima, Y. and Ishiguro, N. (2012) Differences in extrinsic innervation patterns of the small intestine in the cattle and sheep. Auton. Neurosci. 167: 39-44.
  4. Terakawa, J., Wakitani, S., Sugiyama, M., Inoue, N., Ohmori, Y., Kiso, Y., Hosaka, Y. Z. and Hondo, E. (2011) Embryo implantation is blocked by intraperitoneal injection with anti-LIF antibody in mice. J. Reprod. Develop. 57: 700-707.
  5. Inoue, N., Sasagawa, K., Ikai, K., Sasaki, Y., Tomikawa, J., Oishi, S., Fujii, N., Uenoyama, Y., Ohmori, Y., Yamamoto, N., Hondo, E., Maeda, K. and Tsukamura, H. (2011) Kisspeptin neurons mediate reflex ovulation in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108: 17527-17532.