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Kinya Ota|Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica

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  • Kinya Ota
    Associate Research Fellow
    • SpecialtyZoology, Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Marine Biology
    • E-mailotakinya@gate.sinica.edu.tw
    • Tel03-9880544 ext.35
    • Website Kinya Ota's Lab
    • LabB209/MRS
Professional ExperienceOpenClose
Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica
RIKEN CDB Research Scientist
Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
PhD. Department of Genetics, School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advance Studies (SOKENDAI)
Research InterestOpenClose

Our lab seeks to understand the interrelationships between large-scale morphological evolution, embryological development, and artificial selection. To study these processes, we focus on goldfish evolution and development. One may ask, why should we choose goldfish as a model system for these studies? Other researchers in this field have utilized a few different domesticated mammalian and bird species (e.g., dogs and pigeons), and like goldfish, these animals can exhibit quite unnatural phenotypic features and comprise an extensive variety of morphologically diverged strains. Additionally, the genomic backgrounds of several domesticated species have been intensively and extensively investigated in recent studies, which have greatly increased our understanding of the relationship between human activity and evolution of genotypes, genes and genomes. However, the comparative ease of handling and observing goldfish embryos is a major advantage when studying how artificial selection relates to development. Since some goldfish strains have extreme ornamental morphological features, this species provides a unique opportunity for researchers to simultaneously apply genetics and developmental biology in investigations of large-scale morphological evolution. Futhermore, highly diverged goldfish strains can be readily mated together in order to investigate the drastic evolutionary process of modifying skeletal morphology and related features. After crossing the different goldfish morphotypes, the embryos can be easily monitored throughout development. Thus, we believe goldfish is the best vertebrate animal model with which to simultaneously apply genetics and embryology in our efforts to understand how strong artificial selective pressures can modify the developmental process. In our view, the goldfish presents unparalleled opportunities for evodevo studies relevant to the current Anthropocene context.

Selected PublicationOpenClose
  1. Li IJ, Lee SH, Abe G, Ota KG (2019) Embryonic and postembryonic development of the ornamental twin‐tail goldfish. Developmental Dynamics 248 (4):251-283
  2. Abe G, Lee S-H, Li J, Chang C-J, Tamura K, Ota KG (2016) Open and closed evolutionary paths for drastic morphological changes, involving serial gene duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection. Scientific reports 6:26838
  3. Ota KG, Abe G (2016) Goldfish morphology as a model for evolutionary developmental biology. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology 5 (3):272-295
  4. Li IJ, Chang CJ, Liu SC, Abe G, Ota KG (2015) Postembryonic staging of wild‐type goldfish, with brief reference to skeletal systems. Developmental Dynamics 244 (12):1485-1518
  5. Abe G, Lee S-H, Chang M, Liu S-C, Tsai H-Y, Ota KG (2014) The origin of the bifurcated axial skeletal system in the twin-tail goldfish. Nat Commun 5 (1):1-7
  6. Tsai HY, Chang M, Liu SC, Abe G, Ota KG (2013) Embryonic development of goldfish (Carassius auratus): a model for the study of evolutionary change in developmental mechanisms by artificial selection. Developmental dynamics 242 (11):1262-1283
  7. Oisi Y, Ota KG, Kuraku S, Fujimoto S, Kuratani S (2013) Craniofacial development of hagfishes and the evolution of vertebrates. Nature 493 (7431):175-180
  8. Ota KG, Fujimoto S, Oisi Y, Kuratani S (2011) Identification of vertebra-like elements and their possible differentiation from sclerotomes in the hagfish. Nat Commun 2 (1):1-6
  9. Ota KG, Kuraku S, Kuratani S (2007) Hagfish embryology with reference to the evolution of the neural crest. Nature 446 (7136):672-675
  10. Ota KG, Kuratani S (2006) The history of scientific endeavors towards understanding hagfish embryology. Zoological science 23 (5):403-418