Laboratory of Aquatic Molecular Developmental Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University

Molecular basis of biodiversity Androgen signaling Sexual characters Molecular basis of biodiversity Androgen signaling Sexual characters
Face photo

Yukiko Ogino

Associate Professor, Center for Promotion of International Education and Research (cPIER), Faculty of Agriculture

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Animal Resources and Development (CARD), Graduate School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Japan

GCOE Research Associate, Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University, Japan

Assistant Professor, National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB), Japan

Research field: Evolutionary developmental biology, Environmental science, Endocrinology

Ph.D.: Fisheries Science

Laboratory overview

Our focus has been on the development and evolution of secondary sexual characters in fishes. You might be familiar with sexual dimorphism because of the Charles Darwin’s concept “sexual selection”. However molecular basis of sexual characters development and evolution remains largely unclear. To understand the evolutionary basis of biodiversity, we are investigating the mechanisms of the development of sexual characters using medaka, mosquitofish, and swordtail fish as model organisms.

Research theme

Molecular basis of sexual characters evolution in teleosts

How have the sexual characters diverged? Our analysis revealed that teleost fishes have two functionally distinct Androgen receptor (AR) genes generated by whole genome duplication and subsequently occurred mutation(Ogino et al. Mol Biol Evol. 2016). Such evolutionary occurrence of two functionally distinct AR proteins might have facilitated the phenotypic diversification of sexual characters in the teleost fishes. To understand the biological importance of the AR gene duplication in the teleost lineage, we are analyzing the functional differences of the AR genes by using the AR mutant medaka.
To understand the evolutionary divergence in morphology of sexual characters, we are investigating how the androgen signaling interacts with developmental pathway and thus how the pathway is related to the molecular evolution of steroid hormone receptors by using teleost fishes showing the prominent sexual characters (Ogino et al. Endocrinology 2014).

Gene regulatory mechanisms of androgen-dependent sexual characters development

What are the regulating mechanisms of the tissue specificity and the size of sexual characters? We are investigating the mechanism of tissue specific AR gene function by analyzing the histological changes and their relation with chromatin dynamics during the sexual characters development. We also have focused on the reciprocal epithelial–mesenchymal tissue interactions that regulate sexual characters development. Our analyses would contribute to understand the onset mechanism of sexual development disorders and facilitate the generation of the visual reporter transgenic medaka for the rapid detection of EDCs (Sébillot A et al. Environ Sci Technol 2014, collaboration with WatchFrog in France).


Yukiko Ogino

Associate Professor, Center for Promotion of International Education and Research (cPIER), Faculty of Agriculture

Keigo Okamoto

Comparative analysis of the development of secondary sexual characters between Indonesian medaka and Japanese medaka.


  • Ogino Y, Kuraku S, Ishibashi H, Miyakawa H, Sumiya E, Miyagawa S, Matsubara H, Yamada G, Baker ME, Iguchi T. “Neofunctionalization of androgen receptor by gain-of-function mutations in teleost fish lineage”, Mol Biol Evol. Vol.33, pp.228-244, 2016.
  • Ogino Y, Hirakawa I, Inohaya K, Sumiya E, Miyagawa S, Denslow N, Yamada G, Tatarazako N, Iguchi T. “Bmp7 and Lef1 are the downstream effectors of androgen signaling in androgen-induced sex characteristics development in medaka”, Endocrinology, Vol.155, pp.449-462, 2014.
  • Sébillot A, Damdimopoulou P, Ogino Y, Spirhanzlova P, Miyagawa S, Du Pasquier D, Mouatassim N, Iguchi T, Lemkine GF, Demeneix BA, Tindall AJ. “Rapid fluorescent detection of (anti)androgens with spiggin-gfp medaka, Environ Sci Technol”. Vol.48, pp.10919-10928, 2014.
  • See more "Links"


Room 579
Laboratory of Aquatic Molecular Developmental Biology
Center for Promotion of International Education and Research
Faculty of Agriculture
Kyushu University
744 Motooka, Nishi-Ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
E-mail: ogino(at)