Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Neuroscience

Neurogenetics 分野

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:

http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/yamamoto_lab/index.html

特色・実績

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.

教員紹介

2-10yamamoto
Professor Daisuke Yamamoto
I isolated eight mutants of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, each with distinct phenotypes in the courtship ritual. Females of the spinster and chaste mutant lines insistently reject courting males, resulting in behavioral sterility. satori (fru) mutant males never copulate with females (see above). croaker mutant males are no favorite of females due to their off-key love songs. platonic mutant males vigorously court females without copulating. The copulation duration in males of the fickle and okina mutant lines tends to be too long (~an hour) or too short (less than a minute) compared to that in wild-type males (~15 – 20 min). lingerer mutant males often fail to withdraw their genitalia upon terminating copulation. All these mutants gave me clues for exploring the cellular machineries that regulate complex mating behavior and the molecular entities that ensure such cellular events. There’s still much to be done with these mutants before we achieve a complete and thorough understanding of the complex mechanisms of fly mating behavior.
2-11koganesawa
Associate Professor Masayuki Koganesawa
My research focus is on the neural basis for behavior. My favorite material is the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, which is highly amenable to genetic manipulations. I am particularly interested in the neural circuitries underlying courtship and aggression behaviors.
2-12satou
Assistant Professor Kosei Sato
Neurogenetics of courtship and mating in Drosophila.

Thesis Titles

Master Degree

Not applicable 

Ph.D. Degree

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

Name

Ryoya Tanaka 

M2 

Undergraduate University and Department

School of Texile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Japan.

Research Subject

Making 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.