Genetic analysis of vertebrate axis formation and organogenesis using zebrafish and medaka fish as model systems.
Current Research :
We are interested in every aspect of vertebrate development from early axis formation to late organogenesis, such as somitogenesis, dorsoventral patterning and left-right asymmetry. Somitogenesis in zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been one of our main targets for the last decade. In addition to the zebrafish, we introduced the medaka system to our research in 2000. Medaka (Oryzias latipes) is an emerging model vertebrate complimentary to zebrafish, with advantages of a smaller genome, highly polymorphic inbred strains and a wide range of growth permissive temperatures. As expected from the great evolutionarily distance between medaka and zebrafish (more than 110 million years), we now have medaka developmental mutations with unique phenotypes. Having these two excellent model systems, we are analyzing the mechanisms underlying vertebrate development.
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