Various organisms have evolved in the sea. The Molecular Marine Biology Section conducts research to understand the diverse functions of aquatic organisms as well as their evolutionary and ecological significance through molecular and genomics analyses.
Rearing experiments in the laboratory, field research, bioinformatics, and detailed molecular analyses are being conducted. For example, current studies investigate the molecular functions necessary to inhabit extreme environments (e.g., deep-sea hydrothermal vents, intertidal zones, and esturaries) and their implications in evolution and complexity of coral reef ecosystems and mechanisms of symbiosis between zooxanthellae and corals are under way.
We also strive to establish methods to analyze environmental pollution using living organisms as indicators as well as to conserve genetic diversity in coral reef and other aquatic ecosystems.
Through the above studies, we hope to gain a better understanding of how life on Earth with its diverse and rich ecosystems has evolved, and to contribute to its conservation.
- Adaptation mechanisms and evolution of living organisms in the deep sea (e.g., hydrothermal vents), intertidal zones, estuaries
- Molecular mechanisms determining ecological niches and their evolution in aquatic organisms, including sessile invertebrates
- Relationship between the evolution of environmental adaptation mechanisms and biodiversity
- Molecular mechanisms involved in physiology and symbiosis of corals and zooxanthellae, and their applications to conserve and regenerate coral reefs
- Understanding and conservation of biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems, including coral reefs
- Molecular responses to the environment in Asian medaka shes and mussels, and their applications to environmental monitoring