Insects can boast of an overwhelming wealth of species. With a history of evolution spanning over 400 million years, insects have adapted to every environment on earth, diversifying into an extraordinary range of forms along the way. With over a million species, insects are a treasure trove of diversity, and represent infinite possibilities as research tools for unlocking the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for the evolution of animal form. We focus on the evolutionary novelties acquired by insects through evolution, in order to elucidate the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms leading to the large variety of traits that they display. From this wealth of exciting traits, our lab currently focuses on promoting research into (1) the origin and diversification of insect wings, (2) wing color patterns and mimicry of ladybird beetles, and (3) acquisition and diversification of beetle horns.
Insects under study
Kuwayama, H., Gotoh, H., Konishi, Y., Nishikawa, H., Yaginuma, T. and Niimi, T. (2014) Establishment of transgenic lines for jumpstarter method using a composite transposon vector in the ladybird beetle, Harmonia axyridis. PLoS ONE, 9, e100804.
Ito, Y., Harigai, A., Nakata, M., Hosoya, T., Araya, K., Oba, Y., Ito, A., Ohde, T., Yaginuma, T. and Niimi, T. (2013) The role of doublesex in the evolution of exaggerated horns in the Japanese rhinoceros beetle. EMBO Rep., 14, 561-567.
Ohde, T., Yaginuma, T. and Niimi, T. (2013) Insect morphological diversification through the modification of wing serial homologs. Science, 340, 495-498.
Professor NIIMI, Teruyuki TEL: +81 564 55 7606 E-mail: email@example.com