Interdisciplinary Collaboration Program: Biodiversity & Conservation Biology

Japanese version

Research Associate: Hiroki KODA

Post Doctoral Fellow: Azusa HAYANO

Promote Leaders of the Project: Hirohisa HIRAI and Nobuo MASATAKA

Co-promoters: Takashi KAGEYAMA, Yoshi KAWAMOTO, Kiyoaki MATSUBAYASHI, Yasuyuki MUROYAMA, Masanaru TAKAI, Hiroyuki TANAKA, Kunio WATANABE

Collaborator: Hideki SUGIURA

Graduate Student: Chisaka OYAKAWA

This department was organized to promote interdisciplinary collaborations adapted to the times. A research program is chosen from some plans applied by collaborators of different research fields, and an adequate program is investigated with variable techniques and ideas for six years. From this fiscal year, Biodiversity & Conservation Biology starts as a selected research program. This is a program that studies subjects related to biodiversity and conservation of, in particular, Asian primates with standpoints and techniques of genetics, ethology, ecology, physiology, and morphology. An example of the program is like below.

“Molecular analysis on speciation and subspecies differentiation of gibbons”
The gibbon is aptly adapted to tropical forests in Southeast Asia and forms a highly diversified group in apes. Understanding the evolutionary processes of speciation and subspecies differentiation in such a species group is an interesting subject in biological diversity, and also urgent need for conservation program of wild gibbons on the point of extinction because “evolutionary significant units” are essential units for preservation of biodiversity.
Samples of which locality is known and analyses with various genetic markers are required for reliable studies on the biodiversity of gibbons. Therefore, we organized a collaboration research project with Indonesian counterparts, and collected samples such as DNA, chromosomes, morphological characters and vocalization from gibbons known locality. As one of the several nuclear DNA markers, I use polymorphism in numbers of repetitive sequences at microsatellite genes (about 20 loci) to evaluate the levels of genetic divergence between subspecies of agile gibbons. Furthermore, we intend to reveal process of biogeographical radiation and differentiation between gibbons of Sumatra and Borneo (Kalimantan) Islands based on that integrate data from the microsatellite analysis and other genetic analyses (chromosomes, Y-chromosome gene, mitochondrial DNA etc.), and that regard historical changes of geographical features of the Sunda Islands. (Postdoctoral fellow: Azusa Hayano)

Besides, development of method for preserving sperms which are important as life resources, search of species specific genes, genetic structure of natural populations, and species specific social behavioral and ecological structure are also being studied in several primate species.

Sorry, in preparation