• 筑波大学 生物学類
  • 筑波大学 大学院生命環境科学研究科
  • 生物科学専攻
  • 科学技術振興機構 戦略的創造研究推進事業 さきがけ
  • 新学術領域研究「配偶子幹細胞制御機構」


筑波大学 生命環境系
生物科学専攻 丹羽研究室

オフィス:生物農林学系棟 B411
TEL&FAX 029-853-6652

ラボ:生物農林学系棟 D301
TEL&FAX 029-853-4907


Molecular Genetics of Developmental Timing

Principle investigator: Ryusuke Niwa, Ph. D. (associate professor) 

Temporal coordination of cell proliferation and differentiation is essential for correct morphogenesis in multi-cellular organisms. Although a large number of studies have identified the genes that play important regulatory roles in spatial pattern formation, much less is known about the temporal patterning of development. My laboratory aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of developmental timing. We have taken molecular genetics approaches using mainly the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Currently we are especially interested in the pathways of biosynthesis of steroid hormones (ecdysteroids and dafachronic acids) for the control of molting, metamorphosis, diapause, the circadian clock, and longevity. We are also studying the juvenile-to-adult switch regulated by evolutionarily conserved microRNAs, transcription factors, and epigenetic regulators.

Developmental progression and the change of steroid hormone titer in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Developmental stages of insects, as well as nematodes, are separated by clear developmental transitions, such as molting and metamorphosis. This feature makes these animals the nice models for studying developmental timing. In insects, a temporal fluctuation of steroid hormone (ecdysteroid) is required for the proper developmental transition.

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