Department of Applied Molecular Biosciences

Division of Applied Genetics and Physiology


  FAX: +81-52-789-4056
Prof. YOSHIMURA, Takashi D. Agr. takashiy@
Assoc. Prof. OHKAWA, Taeko D. Sci. tohkawa@
Des. Lecturer NAKANE, Yusuke D. Agr. nakane@
Asst. Prof. TSUKADA, Akira Ph. D. tsuka@

This laboratory aims to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying various physiology and behavior in birds and mammals.

Current projects are as following.

  1. Transcriptome analysis and genome wide association study of seasonal time measurement
  2. Chemical genetic analysis of circadian clock
  3. Study of growth and development in domestic fowl
  4. Molecular analysis of vocal communication

Recent publications:

  1. Oshima T, Yamanaka I, Kumar A, Yamaguchi J, Nishiwaki-Ohkawa T, Muto K, Kawamura R, Hirota T, Yagita K, Irle S, Kay SA, Yoshimura T, Itami K. C-H activation generates period shortening molecules targeting cryptochrome in the mammalian circadian clock. Angew Chem Int Ed 54, 7193-7197 (2015)
  2. Ikegami K, Liao XH, Hoshino Y, Ono H, Ota W, Ito Y, Nishiwaki-Ohkawa T, Sato C, Kitajima K, Iigo M, Shigeyoshi Y, Yamada M, Murata Y, Refetoff S, Yoshimura T. Tissue-specific post-translational modification allows functional targeting of thyrotropin Cell Reports 9, 1-9 (2014)
  3. Nakane Y, Shimmura T, Abe H, Yoshimura T. Intrinsic photosensitivity of deep brain photoreceptor. Current Biology 24, R596-R597 (2014)
  4. Nakane Y, Ikegami K, Iigo M, Ono H, Takeda K, Takahashi D, Uesaka M, Kimijima M, Hashimoto R, Arai N, Suga T, Kosuge K, Abe T, Maeda R, Senga T, Amiya N, Azuma T, Amano M, Abe H, Yamamoto N, Yoshimura T. The saccus vasculosus of fish is a sensor of seasonal changes in day length. Nature Communications 4, 2108 (2013)
  5. Shimmura T, Yoshimura T. Circadian clock determines the timing of rooster crowing. Current Biology 23, R231-R233 (2013).
  6. Nakane Y, Ikegami K, Ono H, Yamamoto N, Yoshida S, Hirunagi K, Ebihara S, Kubo Y, Yoshimura T. A mammalian neural tissue opsin (Opsin 5) is a deep brain photoreceptor in birds. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107, 15264-15268 (2010)
  7. Ono H, Hoshino Y, Yasuo S, Watanabe M, Nakane Y, Murai A, Ebihara S, Korf HW, Yoshimura T. Involvement of thyrotropin in photoperiodic signal transduction in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105, 18238-18242 (2008)
  8. Nakao N, Ono H, Yamamura T, Anraku T, Takagi T, Higashi K, Yasuo S, Katou Y, Kageyama S, Uno Y, Kasukawa T, Iigo M, Sharp PJ, Iwasawa A, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Niimi T, Mizutani M, Namikawa T, Ebihara S, Ueda HR, Yoshimura T. Thyrotrophin in the pars tuberalis triggers photoperiodic response. Nature 452, 317-322 (2008)


  FAX: +81-52-789-4077
Prof. HORIO, Fumihiko D. Agr. horiof@
Assoc. Prof. MURAI, Atsushi D. Agr. atsushi@
Lecturer KOBAYASHI, Misato D. Agr. misatok@
SMXA-5 strain, which was established from non-diabetic parental SM/J and A/J mice, develops diabetic phenotypes such as impaired glucose tolerance.

Our research is focused on problems concerning nutrition and metabolism in human and domestic animals. One research project is to develop the basic and applied studies contributing to the prevention of metabolic diseases. Another research project is aim to attain efficient poultry production and to produce designer eggs.

  1. Analysis of diabetogenic genes using a new mouse model for type 2 diabetes.
  2. Search for novel food factors preventing metabolic diseases.
  3. Research on novel functions of vitamin C.
  4. Search for novel physiological function of grain feedstuff (paddy rice etc.).
  5. Study on immunoglobulin transport into poultry eggs.
  6. Analysis of genetic factors in metabolic dysfunction.

Recent Publications:

  1. . Tokuda Y, Miura N, Kobayashi M, Hoshinaga Y, Murai A, Aoyama H, Ito H, Morita T, Horio F. Ascorbic acid deficiency increases endotoxin influx to portal blood and liver inflammatory gene expressions in ODS rats. (2015) Nutrition 31:373-379.
  2. Murai A, Kitahara K, Okumura S, Kobayashi M, Horio F. (2015) Oral antibiotics enhance antibody responses to keyhole limpet hemocyanin in orally but not muscularly immunized chickens. Anim. Sci. J. doi: 10.1111/asj.12424.
  3. Kobayashi M, Ohno T, Ihara K, Murai A, Kumazawa M, Hoshino H, Iwanaga K, Iwai H, Hamana Y, Ito M, Ohno K, Horio F. (2014) Searching for genomic region of high-fat diet-induced type 2 diabetes in mouse chromosome 2 by analysis of congenic strains. PLoS One 9:e96271.
  4. Kobayashi M, Hoshinaga Y, Miura N, Tokuda Y, Shigeoka S, Murai A, Horio, F. (2014) Ascorbic acid deficiency decreases hepatic cytochrome P-450, especially CYP2B1/2B2, and simultaneously induces heme oxygenase-1 gene expression in scurvy-prone ODS rats. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 78: 1060-1066.
  5. Murai A, Murota R, Doi K, Yoshida T, Aoyama H, Kobayashi M, Horio, F. (2013) Avian IgY is selectively incorporated into the egg yolks of oocytes by discriminating Fc amino acid residues located on the Cυ3/Cυ4 interface. Develop. Comp. Immunol. 39: 378-387.
  6. Takimoto T, Doi K, Kobayashi M, Horio F, Murai A. (2013) Amino acid substitution in the Cυ3 domain causes either elevation or reduction of IgY uptake into egg yolks of quail. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 153: 289-297.
  7. Kobayashi M, Matsuda Y, Iwai H, Hiramitsu M, Inoue T, Katagiri T, Yamashita Y, Ashida H, Murai A, Horio F. (2012) Coffee improves insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation in liver and skeletal muscle in diabetic KK-Ay mice. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 58: 408-414.
  8. Kobayashi M, Kawashima H, Takemori K, Ito H, Murai A, Masuda S, Yamada K, Uemura D, Horio, F. (2012) Ternatin, a cyclic peptide isolated from mushroom, and its derivative suppress hyperglycemia and hepatic fatty acid synthesis in spontaneously diabetic KK-Ay mice. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 427: 299-304.


Prof. MATSUDA, Yoichi D. Agr. yoimatsu@
Assoc. Prof. ISHIKAWA, Akira D. Agr. ishikawa@
Asst. Prof. YAMAGATA, Takahiro D. Agr. tyamag@
Embryonic stem cell-mediated gene transfer in Japanese quail

Studies on molecular genetics, developmental genetics, quantitative genetics, cytogenetics, evolutionary genetics, and population genetics are performed using farm animals, laboratory animals and wild animals.

Current research projects are;

  1. Development of new laboratory animals to satisfy the various needs requested by researchers in the fields of animal science and medical science.
  2. Process and mechanism of genomic and chromosomal evolution, diversity of sex determination systems, and mechanism of sexual isolation and speciation in vertebrates by genetic and molecular cytogenetic approach.
  3. Genetic and molecular architecture of variation in quantitative traits of agricultural and medical importance.
  4. Genetic diversity of Asian domestic animals and their relative wild species for their conservation and practical use as genetic resources.
  5. Development of transgenic technologies in avian cells or the whole animal and its application to production of new avian model animals.

Recent publications:

  1. Ishikawa A and Okuno S (2014) Fine mapping and candidate gene search of quantitative trait loci for growth and obesity using mouse intersubspecific subcongenic intercrosses and exome sequencing. PLoS ONE 9: e113233.
  2. Ishishita S, Tsuruta Y, Uno Y, Nakamura A, Nishida C, Griffin DK, Tsudzuki M, Ono T and Matsuda Y (2014) Chromosome size-correlated and chromosome size-uncorrelated homogenization of centromeric repetitive sequences in New World quails. Chromosome Res 22: 15–34.
  3. Ishishita S, Tsuboi K, Ohishi N, Tsuchiya K and Matsuda Y (2015) Abnormal pairing of X and Y sex chromosomes during meiosis I in interspecific hybrids of Phodopus campbelli and P. sungorus. Sci Rep 5: 9435.
  4. Ishikawa A, Sugiyama M, Hondo E, Kinoshita K and Yamagishi Y (2015). Development of a novel pink-eyed dilution mouse model showing progressive darkening of the eyes and coat hair with aging. Exp Anim 64: 207-220.
  5. Shibuya K, Kinoshita K, Mizutani M, Oshima A, Yamashita R and Matsuda Y (2015) Intraocular ossification in the GSP/pe chicken with imperfect albinism. Vet Pathol 52: 688-691.
  6. Hirobe T and Ishikawa A (in press). L-tyrosine induces melanocyte differentiation in novel pink-eyed dilution castaneus mouse mutant showing age-related pigmentation. J Darmatol Sci (