Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Biological Dynamics


Organ Morphogenesis

Organ Morphogenesis

Developmental mechanism of organ morphogenesis in vertebrates

Organ morphology is established during embryogenesis by the developmental mechanism that is controlled by the genetic program encoded in the genome. The mechanism causes cells to proliferate, die, differentiate, and make tissue, giving rise to organs that have functional morphology. Using vertebrate appendages (limbs/fins) and reproductive organs as our model  systems, we investigate the developmental mechanisms that are responsible for organ morphogenesis. 
Species-specific organ morphology (e.g., the number of digits in tetrapod limbs) is established by modification of the genetic program, and the resultant developmental mechanism, during evolution. To better understand the developmental aspects of the evolution of morphology, we use a variety of vertebrate embryos (e.g., zebrafish, Xenopus, newt, gecko, mouse, chicken, quail, and penguin) to investigate how animals modify the developmental mechanism for morphological traits. 

Research Overview

The laboratory is a free space where each student can think of independent research themes from discussions with staff and build experimental methods and systems based on their own ideas. For example, we conduct research to embryologically authenticate the direct phyletic relationship between dinosaurs and birds based on the identification of digits through detailed analysis of the digit morphogenesis process in chickens, as well as research placing embryology among evolutionary processes considering the origin and evolution of bones in vertebrate animals by specifying the genetic origin (cell type) of the exoskeleton of zebrafish. Meanwhile, we study the molecular mechanism of the limb regeneration process, examine the relationship between limb regeneration and wound healing and the role of epigenetic gene regulation in motile organ regeneration, and conduct advanced research on amphibian transgenic technology. The laboratory has had many successful results as documented in the fundamental texts Developmental Biology (S. Gilbert), Principles of Development (L. Wolpert), Regenerative Biology and Medicine (D. Stocum), and others.

URLs http://www.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/lab-www/tamlab/

Faculty Members

Professor TAMURA Koji

Mechanism of limb/fin development and evolution of limb morphology

Molecular mechanism of appendage regeneration and wound healing in vertebrates

Assistant Professor SHIOMI Kozue (C)
Assistant Professor UESAKA Masahiro
Relationships between vertebrate development and evolution.