Lab for Behavioral and Developmental Disorders
Vertebrates have a highly organized and centralized nervous system, while the nervous system of invertebrate animals is various, ranging from the diffused nervous system in jellyfish to a moderately centralized nervous system in insects. The diversity of the nervous system is based on the genetic information that has been accumulated and sophisticated in the course of evolution. We perform comparative analysis on the structure, function and expression of genes critically involved in the neurogenesis, such as Zic, Slitrk and Lrfn, as well as other uncharacterized genes expressed in neural tissue. These analyses aim at a comprehensive understanding of the role of the genes and cis-regulatory elements in the appearance of complicated nervous system in animals. As a benefit of the comparative genomic analysis, we are developing and analyzing several model animals for neurodevelopmental disorders.