Department of Animal Sciences

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  FAX: +81-52-789-4099
Prof. SUMIYAMA, Kenta Ph. D. ksumiyam@
Assoc. Prof. ISHIKAWA, Akira D. Agr. ishikawa@
Asst. Prof. YAMAGATA, Takahiro D. Agr. tyamag@

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

Current research projects are;

  1. Understanding the genetic and molecular basis of qualitative and quantitative traits of agricultural and medical importance.
  2. Genetic diversity of Asian domestic animals and their relative wild species for their conservation and practical use as genetic resources.
  3. Development of new laboratory animals to satisfy the various needs requested by researchers in the fields of animal science and medical science.

Recent publications:

  1. Ishikawa, A. (2017). Identification of a putative quantitative trait gene for resistance to obesity in mice using transcriptome analysis and causal inference tests. PLoS One 12: e0170652.
  2. Ishikawa, A. (2017). A strategy for identifying quantitative trait genes using gene expression analysis and causal analysis. Genes 8: 347.
  3. Yamagata T, Tsunoda K, Takahasi Y, Nomura K, Mannen H, etc (2017) External morphological characters of local sheep breeds and populations in Kazakhstan. Rep Soc Res Native Livestock 28: 83-96.
  4. Yamagata T, Yamamoto Y, Meldelokov A, Suleimenov MZ, Bakhtin M, Kazymbet P, Nishibori M and Nozawa K (2017) Morphological traits and related gene frequencies of cats in Kazakhstan. Rep Soc Res Native Livestock 28: 115-121.
  5. Hirobe T and Ishikawa A (2015). L-tyrosine induces melanocyte differentiation in novel pink-eyed dilution castaneus mouse mutant showing age-related pigmentation. J Dermatol Sci 80: 203-211.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Goto, T., Ishikawa, A., Goto, N., Nishibori, M., Umino, T., and Tsudzuki, M. (2014). Mapping of main-effect and epistatic quantitative trait loci for internal egg traits in an F2 resource population of chickens. J. Poult. Sci., 51: 375-386.


Prof. ICHIYANAGI, Kenji D. Sci. ichiyana@
Asst. Prof. OTANI, Hitoshi D. Sci. otani@

Our research interests are epigenetic regulation during mammalian development, roles for epigenetic and genetic diversities in evolution, and roles for retrotransposons in regulation of the genome function.

Current research projects:

  1. Epigenetic regulation of genes and retrotransposons by DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small RNAs during mammalian germ cell development.
  2. The mode and mechanism of epigenetic reprograming in germ cells.
  3. Epigenetic regulation of meiotic recombination.
  4. Comparison of epigenetic states (epigenomes) between close related species (e.g., human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and macaques) and between sub-species (e.g., mouse strains of different sub-species origin).
  5. Chromatin boundary function of SINE retrotransposons.
  6. Retrotransposon-driven transcription to generate gene expression diversity.

Recent publications:

  1. Ichiyanagi T, Ichiyanagi K, Ogawa A, Kuramochi-Miyagawa S, Nakano T, Chuma S, Sasaki H, and Udono H. (2014) HSP90α plays an important role in piRNA biogenesis and retrotransposon repression in mouse. Nucleic Acids Res 42, 11903-11911
  2. Fukuda K, Ichiyanagi K, Yamada Y, Go Y, Udono T, Wada S, Maeda M, Soejima H, Saitou N, Ito T, and Sasaki H. (2013) DNA methylation differences between humans and chimpanzees are associated with genetic changes, transcriptional divergence and disease genes. J Hum Genet 58:446-454
  3. Ichiyanagi T, Ichiyanagi K, Miyake M, and Sasaki H. (2013) Accumulation and loss of non-CpG methylation during male germ-cell development. Nucleic Acids Res 41, 738-745
  4. Ichiyanagi K. (2013) Epigenetic regulation of transcription and possible functions of mammalian short interspersed elements, SINEs. Genes Genet Syst 88, 19-29
  5. Ichiyanagi K. (2012) Inhibition of MspI cleavage activity by hydroxymethylation of the CpG site: A concern for DNA modification studies using restriction endonucleases. Epigenetics 7, 131-136
  6. Ichiyanagi K, Li Y, Watanabe T, Ichiyanagi T, Fukuda K, Kitayama J, Yamamoto Y, Kuramochi-Miyagawa S, Nakano T, Yabuta Y, Seki Y, Saitou M, and Sasaki H. (2011) Locus- and domain-dependent control of DNA methylation at mouse B1 retrotransposons during male germ cell development. Genome Res 21, 2058-2066
  7. Ichiyanagi K, Nakajima R, Kajikawa M, and Okada N. (2007) Novel retrotransposon analysis reveals multiple mobility pathways dictated by hosts. Genome Res17, 33-41


  FAX: +81-52-789-4080
Prof. HONDO, Eiichi D.V.M. ehondo@
Asst. Prof. IIDA, Atsuo D. Sci. atsuo@

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.


FAX: +81-52-789-4056
Prof. YOSHIMURA, Takashi D. Agr. takashiy@
Assoc. Prof. OHKAWA, Taeko D. Sci. tohkawa@
Des. Lecturer KON, Naohiro D. Sci. kon.naohiro@itbm
Asst. Prof. TSUKADA, Akira Ph. D. tsuka@
Des. Asst. Prof. NAKAYAMA, Tomoya D. Agr. tomoya@
Des. Asst. Prof. CHEN, Junfeng Ph. D. junfeng.chen@itbm

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: +81-52-789-4072
Prof. TSUKAMURA, Hiroko D. Agr. htsukamu@
Assoc. Prof. UENOYAMA, Yoshihisa D. Agr. uenoyama@
Assoc. Prof. INOUE, Naoko D. Agr. ninoue@

Kisspeptin, a product of Kiss1 gene, plays a key role in regulating reproductive function in mammals. The image shows an epigenetic regulation of hypothalamic Kiss1 gene expressions induced by estrogen from mature follicles. Preovulatory level of estrogen induces histone acetylation in the Kiss1 promoter region, resulting in an increase in Kiss1 expression, and consequently induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)/luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and then ovulation.

The laboratory is carrying out studies on neuroendocrine control of reproductive phenomena, such as puberty, estrous cycle, pregnancy, lactation, and sexual differentiation of the brain, focusing on the role of kisspeptin in regulating hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis.

Recent publications:

  1. Uenoyama, Y., Tanaka, A., Takase, K., Yamada, S., Pheng, V., Inoue, N., Maeda, K.I., Tsukamura, H. (2015) Central estrogen action sites involved in prepubertal restraint of pulsatile luteinizing hormone release in female rats. J Reprod Dev 61: 351-359.
  2. Minabe S, Deura C, Ikegami K, Goto T, Sanbo M, Hirabayashi M, Inoue N, Uenoyama Y, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H (2015) Pharmacological and morphological evidence of AMPK-mediated energy sensing in the lower brain stem ependymocytes to control reproduction in female rodents. Endocrinology 156: 2278-2287.
  3. Uenoyama Y, Nakamura S, Hayakawa Y, Ikegami K, Watanabe Y, Deura C, Minabe S, Tomikawa J, Goto T, Ieda N, Inoue N, Sanbo M, Tamura C, Hirabayashi M, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H. (2015) Lack of Pulse and Surge Modes and Glutamatergic Stimulation of LH Release in Kiss1 Knockout Rats. J Neuroendocrinol 27:187-197.
  4. Watanabe Y, Uenoyama Y, Suzuki J, Takase K, Suetomi Y, Ohkura S, Inoue N, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H. (2014) Oestrogen-Induced Activation of Preoptic Kisspeptin Neurones May be Involved In the Luteinizing Hormone Surge in Male and Female Japanese Monkeys. J Neuroendocrinol 26: 909-917.
  5. Goto T, Tomikawa J, Ikegami K, Minabe S, Abe H, Fukanuma T, Imamura T, Takase K, Sanbo M, Tomita K, Hirabayashi M, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H, Uenoyama Y. (2014) Identification of hypothalamic arcuate nucleus-specific enhancer region of Kiss1 gene in mice. Mol Endocrinol 29:121-129.
  6. Ieda N, Uenoyama Y, Tajima Y, Nakata T, Kano M, Naniwa Y, Watanabe Y, Minabe S, Tomikawa J, Inoue N, Matsuda F, Ohkura S, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H. (2014) KISS1 gene expression in the developing brain of female pigs in pre- and peripubertal periods. J Reprod Dev 60 (4):312-316.
  7. Sakakibara M, Uenoyama Y, Minabe S, Watanabe Y, Deura C, Nakamura S, Suzuki G, Maeda KI and Tsukamura H. (2013) Microarray analysis of perinatal-estrogen-induced changes in gene expression related to brain sexual differentiation in mice. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79437.
  8. Nakahara T, Uenoyama Y, Iwase A, Oishi S, Nakamura S, Minabe S, Watanabe Y, Deura C, Noguchi T, Fujii N, Kikkawa F, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H. (2013) Chronic peripheral administration of kappa-opioid receptor antagonist advances puberty onset associated with acceleration of pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion in female rats. J Reprod Dev 59: 479-484.
  9. Tomikawa J, Uenoyama Y, Ozawa M, Fukanuma T, Takase K, Goto T, Abe H, Ieda N, Minabe S, Deura C, Inoue N, Sanbo M, Tomita K, Hirabayashi M, Tanaka S, Imamura T, Okamura H, Maeda KI, Tsukamura H (2012) Epigenetic regulation of Kiss1 gene expression mediating estrogen-positive feedback action in the mouse brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(20):E1294-301.
  10. 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 U S A 108:17527-32.


  FAX: +81-52-789-4077
Prof. MURAI, Atsushi D. Agr. atsushi@

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.


  FAX: +81-561-38-4473
Prof. OHKURA, Satoshi D. Agr. saohkura@
Assoc. Prof. MATSUYAMA, Shuichi D. Agr. shuichim@
Des. Assoc. Prof. NAKAMURA, Sho D. Agr. shonakam@

The goal of our research is to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of reproductive functions in domestic animals (goats and cattle), and to utilize the basic knowledge for farm animal production. The control mechanism of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)/luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in female animals is our main interest.

We currently focus on the following research projects using a multidisciplinary approach:

  1. Neuroendocrine mechanism regulating pulsatile GnRH release in ruminants
  2. Physiological role of kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin in the control of reproduction in ruminants

The Laboratory is located in the Togo Filed (The University Farm), Field Science Center, 15 km east of the Higashiyama Main Campus.

Recent Publications:

  1. Tanaka, T., Ohkura, S., Wakabayashi, Y. and Okamura, H. (2012) Peripherally administered kisspeptin-10 stimulates GnRH neurosecretion into the hypophyseal portal circulation in goats. Small Ruminant Research 105, 273-276.
  2. Matsuda, F., Torii, Y., Enomoto, H., Kuga, C., Aizawa, N., Iwata, Y., Saito, M., Imanishi, H., Shimomura, S., Nakamura, H., Tanaka, H., Iijima, H., Tsutsui, H., Tanaka, Y., Nishiguchi, S. (2012) Anti-interferon-α neutralizing antibody is associated with non-response to pegylated interferon-α plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2012.01598.x.
  3. Matsuda, F., Inoue, N., Manabe, N. and Ohkura, S. (2012). Follicular growth and atresia in mammalian ovaries: regulation by survival and death of granulosa cells. Journal of Reproduction and Development 58 44-50.
  4. Matsuyama, S., Ohkura, S., Mogi, K., Wakabayashi, Y., Mori, Y., Tsukamura, H., Maeda, K.-I., Ichikawa, M. and Okamura, H. (2011) Morphological evidence for direct interaction between kisspeptin and GnRH neurones at the median eminence of the male goat: an immunoelectron microscopic study. Neuroendocrinology 94, 323-332.
  5. Oishi, S., Misu, R., Tomita, K., Setsuda, S., Masuda, R., Ohno, H., Naniwa, Y., Ieda, N., Inoue, N., Ohkura, S., Uenoyama, Y., Tsukamura, H., Maeda, K.-I., Hirasawa, A., Tsujimoto, G. and Fujii, N. (2011) Activation of neuropeptide FF receptors by kisspeptin receptor ligands. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2, 53-57.
  6. Matsuda, F., Inoue, N., Goto, Y., Maeda, A., Cheng, Y., Sai, T., Gonda, H., Sakamaki, K. and Manabe, N. (2011) Expression and function of apoptosis initiator FOXO3 in granulosa cells during follicular atresia in pig ovaries. Journal of Reproduction and Development 57, 151-158.
  7. Wakabayashi, Y., Nakada, T., Murata, K., Ohkura, S., Mogi, K., Navarro, V.M., Clifton, D.K., Mori, Y., Tsukamura, H., Maeda, K.-I., Steiner, R.A. and Okamura, H. (2010). Neurokinin B and dynorphin A in kisspeptin neurons of the arcuate nucleus participate in generation of periodic oscillation of neural activity driving pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion in the goat. Journal of Neuroscience 30, 3124-3132.
  8. Tomikawa, J., Homma, T., Tajima, S., Shibata, T., Inamoto, Y., Takase, K., Inoue, N., Ohkura, S., Uenoyama, Y., Maeda, K.-I. and Tsukamura, H. (2010). Molecular characterization and estrogen regulation of hypothalamic KISS1 gene in the pig. Biology of Reproduction 82, 313-319.
  9. Ohkura, S., Uenoyama, Y., Yamada, S., Homma, T., Takase, K., Inoue, N., Maeda, K.-I. and Tsukamura, H. (2009) Physiological role of metastin/kisspeptin in regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in female rats. Peptides 30, 49-56.
  10. Ohkura, S., Takase, K., Matsuyama, S., Mogi, K., Ichimaru, T., Wakabayashi, Y., Uenoyama, Y., Mori, Y., Steiner, R.A., Tsukamura, H., Maeda, K.-I. and Okamura, H. (2009). Gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator activity in the hypothalamus of the goat. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 21, 813-821.


Prof. NISHIJIMA, Ken-ichi D. Agr. nishijim@
Asst. Prof. OKUZAKI, Yuya D. Eng. yo0619@

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 (


  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@
Des. Asst. Prof HAGIO, Hanako D. Agr. hagio@

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: +81-52-789-4036
Prof. IKEDA, Motoko D. Agr. mochiko@
Asst. Prof. HAMAJIMA, Rina D. Agr. hamajima@

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: +81-52-789-4032
Assoc. Prof. 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 Kruppel homolog 1 in hemimetabolous thrips. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 41, 125-134 (2011)