Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Neuroscience

Neurogenetics 分野

Daisuke Yamamoto
キャンパス Katahira キャンパス
専攻分野 Behavioral genetics
連絡先 022-217-6218

As a child, I was an amateur entomologist, running over hills and fields to collect insects. I was drawn not only to the wide structural variety of these small creatures, but also to their myriad habits. I was curious as to why individuals belonging to the same species but neighboring habitats often appear so different. Maybe a small change in some gene produced a subtle change in behavior, ultimately leading to speciation? In seeking the answers to such questions, I continued to pursue insect biology, and finally made it my profession.

1978 Master of Agriculture at the Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
1981 Doctorate of Science (Hokkaido University)
1980-1999 Researcher, Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences
1981-1983 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School, USA
1994-2000 Director, ERATO Yamamoto Behavior Gene Project, Science and Technology Promotion Agency of Japan
1999-2003 Professor of Genetics, Waseda University School of Human Sciences
2003-2005 Professor of Genetics, Waseda University School of Science and Engineering

Yamamoto, D. (1996) Molecular Dynamics in the Drosophila Eye, Springer (R.G.Landes Co., Heidelberg), 165pp.

Science 343, 294-297. (2014)
Nat. Commun. 4, 1825-1833.(2013)
PLoS ONE 7, e35640.(2012)
Cell 149, 1327-1338.(2012)
Intern. J. Biol. 4, 20-26.(2012)
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 249-254.(2012)
Behav. Genet. 41, 746-753.(2011)
J. Neurosci. 31, 5454-5459.(2011)
Neuron 69, 498-508. (2011)
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 74, 261-265.(2010)
Behav. Genet. 40, 694-705.(2010)
Curr. Biol. 20, 836-840.(2010)
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 73, 119-127.(2010)
Curr. Biol. 20, 1-8.(2010)
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1170, 497-501.(2009)
Science 323, 1740-1743.(2009)
J. Neurogenet. 23, 329-340.(2009)
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 69, 168-175.(2008)
Neuron 59, 759-769. (2008)
Nature 450, 203-218.(2007)
J. Neurogenet. 21, 59-71.(2007)
PLoS ONE 2, e487.(2007)
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 64, 157-163.(2007)
J. Neurogenet. 19, 123-141.(2005)
Nature 438, 229-233.(2005)
FEBS Lett. 579, 4131-4137.(2005)
J. Neurogenet. 19, 109-121.(2005)
Genetica 120, 267-272. (2004).
Anesthesiology 99, 867-875. (2003).
J. Neurogenet. 17, 117-137. (2003).
Proc. R. Soc. Lond , Ser B 270, 798-807. (2003).
Cell Death Diff. 10, 798-807. (2003).
Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 413, 207-212. (2003).
Genetics 162, 1775-1789. (2002).
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 49, 102-107. (2002).
Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 49, 94-101. (2002).
Devel. Dynam. 223, 298-305. (2002).
Gene 275, 195-205. (2001).
Mol. Cell. Biol. 21, 3775-3788. (2001).
J. Neurogenet. 15, 147-168. (2001).
Genetics 157, 727-742. (2001).
J. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Biophys. 5, 31-36. (2001).
Recent Res. Devel. Mol. Cell Biol. 2, 175-191. (2001).
Curr. Genom. 1, 323-338. (2000).
Nature Cell Biol. 2, 500-506. (2000).
Gene 245, 31-42. (2000).
Hereditas 133, 81-83. (2000).
Gene 246, 143-149. (2000).
Hereditas 132, 67-78 (2000).
J. Neurogenet. 13, 213-232. (2000).


The Molecular Biology Society of Japan, The Japan Neuroscience Society, The Genetics Society of Japan


Life Science B (for 1st grade students, School of Science)
Approaches to Biology (for 1st grade students, School of Science)
Short-term Program for Exchange Students (School of Science)
Animal Behavioral Science (for 2nd grade students, School of Science)
Reading Trainings in Biology (for 3rd grade students, School of Science)
Research and Seminar (for 4th grade students, School of Science and for graduate students)
Joint Lecture Course B (first year graduate students)
Joint Lecture on Cellular Biology (first year graduate students)
Topical Reviews on Microbrain Functions (first year graduate students)


Our major efforts have been dedicated to the study of fru, which is now regarded as a “master control gene”  for male courtship circuitry formation. The fru gene encodes a series of putative transcription factors Fru, which recruit chromatin regulators to ~100 sites on the chromosome to induce global changes in gene transcription. We hypothesize that the “femaleness” or “maleness” of neurons is an outcome of chromatin state changes that Fru induce. To verify this hypothesis, we are attempting to determine the consensus Fru-binding sequence, which we hope will allow us to identify almost all Fru target genes in the genome. At the other end of our wide research spectrum, we are attempting to produce fru mutants in non-model species of Drosophila by means of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, with the aim of gaining insight into the genomic basis for evolutionary changes in species-specific courtship behavior.

Figure 1: A spinster mutant female rejecting a wild-type courter male


Current research activities in this laboratory began with curiosity regarding the amazing diversity of organisms and how it was achieved. One might think these are questions of ecology. However, I have been motivated to employ molecular biology and genetics to address these questions. I believe that one of the keys to understanding evolution is clarification of the molecular-level genetic (and genomic) changes that direct the various phenotypic changes. In any case, our drive to reveal hidden layers of causality should lead to new insights into hitherto unknown biological mechanisms.

Figure 2: D. Yamamoto (left) and Ken Kaneshiro (right) collecting Hawaiian endemic Drosophila on the island of Maui.