Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology | RIKEN BDR

Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology

Team Leader

Shigeru KurataniPh.D.

Photo of principal investigator

  • Location:Kobe / Developmental Biology Buildings
  • E-mail:shigeru.kuratani[at]riken.jpPlease replace [at] with @.
  • Lab Website

Understanding the mechanism of morphological evolution of animals

Research Summary

Evolution can be viewed as series of changes introduced to developmental programs of organisms. The ultimate goal of our research project is to reconstruct the mechanical background of development behind evolutionary novelties in vertebrates, such as jaws and turtle crapace, by comparing developmental processes and patterns between different animal species to identify the changed portion of development, by constructing phenocopies to modify a part of developmental programs of model animals, and by integrating the experimental data with fossil data, phylogenetic trees based on molecular data, and variety of genomes in animals.

Research Theme

  • Head
  • Skeletomuscular system
  • Nervous system
  • Vertebrates
  • Cyclostomes

Main Publications List

  • Sarper SE, Hirai T, Matsuyama T, et al.
    Polymorphism in the symmetries of gastric pouch arrangements in the sea anemone Diadumene lineata.
    Zoological letters 7, 12 (2021) doi: 10.1186/s40851-021-00180-0
  • Higuchi S, Sugahara S, Pascual-Anaya J,
    Inner ear development in cyclostomes and evolution of the vertebrate semicircular canals.
    Nature (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0782-y
  • Pascual-Anaya J, Sato I, Sugahara F,
    Hagfish and lamprey Hox genes reveal conservation of temporal colinearity in vertebrates.
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(5). 859-866 (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0526-2
  • Sugahara F, Pascual-Anaya J, Oisi Y, et al.
    Evidence from cyclostomes for complex regionalization of the ancestral vertebrate brain.
    Nature 531. 97-100 (2016) doi: 10.1038/nature16518
  • Kitazawa T, Takechi M, Hirasawa T, et al.
    Developmental genetic bases behind the independent origin of the tympanic membrane in mammals and diapsids.
    Nature Communications 6. 6853 (2015) doi: 10.1038/ncomms7853
  • Wang Z, Pascual-Anaya J, Zadissa A, et al.
    Development and evolution of turtle-specific body plan assessed by genome-wide analyses.
    Nature Genetics 45. 701-706 (2013) doi: 10.1038/ng.2615
  • Hirasawa T, Nagashima H, Kuratani S.
    The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace.
    Nature Communications 4. 2107 (2013) doi: 10.1038/ncomms3107
  • Oisi Y, Ota KG, Kuraku S, et al.
    Craniofacial development of hagfishes and the evolution of vertebrates.
    Nature 493. 175-180 (2013) doi: 10.1038/nature11794
  • Ota KG, Fujimoto S, Oisi Y, Kuratani S.
    Identification of vertebra-like elements and their possible differentiation from sclerotomes in the hagfish.
    Nature Communications 2. 373 (2011) doi: 10.1038/ncomms1355
  • Irie N, Kuratani S.
    Comparative transcriptome analysis detects vertebrate phylotypic stage during organogenesis.
    Nature Communications 2. 248 (2011) doi: 10.1038/ncomms1248
  • Nagashima H, Sugahara F, Takechi M, et al.
    Evolution of the turtle body plan by the folding and creation of new muscle connections.
    Science 325. 193-196 (2009) doi: 10.1126/science.1173826
  • Ota KG, Kuraku, S, Kuratani S.
    Hagfish embryology with reference to the evolution of the neural crest.
    Nature 446. 672-675 (2007) doi: 10.1038/nature05633

All Publications


Shigeru KurataniTeam Leader shigeru.kuratani[at]
Rie KusakabeResearch Scientist
Masahiro UesakaResearch Scientist
Tatsuya HiraswaResearch Scientist
PASCUAL ANAYA JuanResearch Scientist
Takahiro KohsokabeResearch Scientist
Masako TanakaTechnical Staff
Tamami HiraiTechnical Staff
Iori SatoTechnical Staff
Fumiaki SugaharaVisiting Scientist
Naoki IrieVisiting Scientist
Emi HorisakaStudent Trainee
Shunya KurodaResearch Part-time Worker II

*:concurrent / Please replace [at] with @.