How are innate behaviors organized in the brain? How do the precise neural networks form in development and operate during behavior? These are the primary questions we want to address.
Laboratory website URL:
Our group was the first to clone the Drosophila gene fruitless (fru), a mutant (satori) of which exhibits strong male-to-male courtship with no attempts to copulate with females. In subsequent studies, we identified a male-specific neural cluster (the P1 cluster) composed of ~20 fru-expressing neurons, which can initiate male-type courtship behavior when forced to fire in the male brain. We even succeeded in recording P1 neuronal activities during courtship from the brain of a tethered fly. By the combined use of leading edge techniques in molecular biology, physiology and optogenetics, we are unveiling the hidden causal links among genes, brain neural networks and instincts.
1. Noriko Hamada-Kawaguchi: Multilayered regulation of Drosophila oogenesis by the non-receptor type tyrosine kinase Btk29A (2013)
2. Shingo Kimura: Roles of the Lingerer protein in memory formation in Drosophila melanogaster (2013)
A Student’s View
NameRyoya Tanaka M2
Undergraduate University and DepartmentSchool of Texile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Japan.
Research SubjectMaking a great effort to mutate the fru locus of a non-model species of Drosophila, with the aid of the newly developed CRISPR/Cas9 system.
In the Neurogenetics lab, every one is required to have a whole bunch of different skills to complete his/her project, say behavior assays, neuroanatomy, physiology, molecular biology etc. This is really hard to do, but after the training here, you will be confident on yourself in that any challenge you might encounter you can manage. Around the lab bench while working on flies, I enjoy talking to Prof. Yamamoto and staff researchers, who inspire interesting ideas and help me imagine a future research life of my kind.