Kuraku Group • Molecular Life History Laboratory

Decoding evolution by understanding the mechanism of genomic readout


KURAKU, Shigehiro



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Assistant Professor


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Research Summary

Our group aims to infer the molecular-level history of complex life, based on molecular phylogenetic approaches to evolutionarily dissecting biodiversity with increasing knowledge of cellular events from genome-wide profiling. We mainly focus on vertebrates including elusive wild species with unique phenotypes. Our interests are categorized into these themes.

1) Elucidating the evolutionary history of genomes by cross-species comparisons
2) Decoding genome evolution mechanisms taking cellular events into account
3) Improving genome-wide data acquisition and analysis methods

The FoxG group of genes analyzed as a proxy of the whole genome. These genes have different retention patterns (A), evolutionary rates of the genes and flanking genomic regions (B and C, respectively), and embryonic expression domains (D, in catshark embryos). Their inter-relationship and its orchestration within a genome remain largely unexplored and belong to our laboratory’s theme.

Selected Publications

Yamaguchi K, Uno Y, Kadota M, Nishimura O, Nozu R, Murakumo K, Matsumoto R, Sato K, Kuraku S. Elasmobranch genome sequencing reveals evolutionary trends of vertebrate karyotype organization. Genome Res. 2023 Sep; 33:1527-1540.

Hara Y, Kuraku S. The impact of local genomic properties on the evolutionary fate of genes. Elife. 2023 May 24;12:e82290.

Yamaguchi K, Koyanagi M, Sato K, Terakita A, Kuraku S. Whale shark rhodopsin adapted to deep-sea lifestyle by a substitution associated with human disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2023 Mar 28;120:e2220728120.

Ohishi Y, Arimura S, Shimoyama K, Yamada K, Yamauchi S, Horie T, Hyodo S, Kuraku S. Egg Yolk Protein Homologs Identified in Live-Bearing Sharks: Co-Opted in the Lecithotrophy-to-Matrotrophy Shift? Genome Biol Evol. 2023 Mar 3;15:evad028

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