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Yi-Hsien Su|Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica

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  • Yi-Hsien Su
    Research Fellow
    • SpecialtyDevelopmental Biology, Gene Regulatory Networks, Systems Biology
    • E-mailyhsu@gate.sinica.edu.tw
    • Tel02-2789-9511
    • Website Yi-Hsien Su's LAB
    • LabR410/ICOB
Professional ExperienceOpenClose
Research Fellow, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica
Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica
Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, USA
Ph.D., Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA
Research InterestOpenClose

One of the central mysteries in biology is how diverse forms of animals develop and originated on this planet. From the perspective of a developmental biologist, this question can be addressed by deciphering how gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that are encoded in the genome regulate the formation of a specific body plan. On the other hand, an evolutionary developmental biologist may answer this question by comparing the developmental mechanisms of two or more extant animal groups. The combination of these approaches in Evolutionary Developmental Biology (EvoDevo) enables researchers to first reconstruct possible ancestral conditions. Based on this information, lineage-specific changes in developmental mechanisms and GRN architectures that deviate from ancestral conditions can then be decoded. Identification of such changes often provides insights into how distinct body forms could have originated during evolution. Taking our own phylum Chordata as an example, all chordates possess several phylum-specific characters, such as a hollow neural tube and a notochord. The two closest relatives of chordates are the phyla Echinodermata and Hemichordata, which constitute the superclade Ambulacraria. These animals lack chordate-specific traits and exhibit other uniquely evolved body plans that define each animal group. The three phyla belong to the deuterostomes, which is one of the two major branches of Bilateria (i.e., animals with bilateral symmetry). My lab investigates developmental mechanisms of sea urchin (Echinoderm) and acorn worm (Hemichordate) embryos to reconstruct the ancestral conditions of ambulacrarians and deuterostomes. We also address questions regarding how phylum-specific traits are originated from common ancestors. Results from our study contribute to a mechanistic understanding of deuterostome evolution and provide insights into the evolution of morphological novelties.

Selected PublicationOpenClose
  1. Lin, C.Y., Yu, J.K.*, Su, Y.H.* (2021) Evidence for BMP-mediated specification of primordial germ cells in the indirect-developing hemichordate, Evolution & Development, 23, 28-45.
  2. Coffman J.A.* and Su, Y.H.* (2019) Redox regulation of development and regeneration. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development: Developmental mechanisms, patterning and evolution, 57, 9-15 (invited review).
  3. Su, Y.H.*, Chen, Y.C., Ting, H.C., Fan, T.P., Lin, C.Y., Wang, K.T., and Yu, J.K.* (2019) BMP controls dorsoventral and neural patterning in indirect-developing hemichordates providing insights into a possible origin of chordates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116, 12925-12932.
  4. Fan, T.P., Ting, H.C., Yu, J.K., and Su, Y.H.* (2018) Reiterative use of FGF signaling in mesoderm development during embryogenesis and metamorphosis in the hemichordate Ptychodera flava. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 18, 120.
  5. Chang, W.L.#, Chang, Y.C.#, Lin, K.T., Li, H.R., Pai, C.Y., Chen, J.H., and Su, Y.H.* (2017) Asymmetric distribution of hypoxia-inducible factor α regulates dorsoventral axis in the early sea urchin embryo. Development, 144, 2940-2950 (#contributed equally; cover and feature article).
  6. Chang, Y.C., Pai, C.Y., Chen, Y.C., Ting, H.C., Martinez, P., Telford, M.J., Yu, J.K., and Su, Y.H.* (2016) Regulatory circuit rewiring and functional divergence of the duplicate admp genes in dorsoventral axial patterning. Developmental Biology, 410, 108-118.
  7. Lin, C.Y. and Su, Y.H.* (2016) Genome editing in sea urchin embryos by using a CRISPR/Cas9 system. Developmental Biology, 409, 420-428.
  8. Lin, C.Y., Tung, C.H., Yu, J.K.*, and Su, Y.H.* (2016) Reproductive periodicity, spawning induction, and larval metamorphosis of the hemichordate acorn worm Ptychodera flava. J Exp Zool B, 326, 47-60.
  9. Andrikou, C., Pai, C.Y., Su, Y.H.*, and Arnone, M.I.* (2015) Logics and properties of a genetic regulatory program that drives embryonic muscle development in an echinoderm. eLife, 4:e07343.
  10. Luo Y.J. and Su Y.H.* (2012) Opposing Nodal and BMP signals regulate left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin larva. PLoS Biology, 10(10), e1001402.