Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Biology (Animal Science)

Associate Professor
Hidetaka FURUYA
mail hfuruya @
Associate Professor
Kazuo ITO
mail itokazuo @

Interdisciplinary Biology


Graduate School of Science



Research Theme

Ontogeny and phylogeny of some invertebrates and vertebrates are studied. The main research subjects are (1) biology of dicyemid mesozoans and (2) evolution of neural crest development.

Biology of Dicyemid Mesozoans (H. Furuya)

Dicyemid mesozoans are endoparasites in the cephalopod kidney and have long been known to occupy a phylogenetical position between monocellular protozoans and multicellular metazoans. The dicyemid body consists of only 20 to 40 cells and is organized very simply. Our research fields are traditional taxonomy, molecular phylogeny, morphology, embryology, life history of dicyemids, and their relation to host cephalopods. In addition, phylogeny and development of the host cephalopods, especially cuttlefishes, are investigated.

Evolution of Neural Crest Development (K. Ito)

The neural crest is a structure unique to the vertebrate embryo. Spatiotemporally regulated migration of neural crest cells from their embryonic origin, the neural fold, occurs ventrally and laterally. They give rise to a variety of derivatives that characterize the vertebrate body organization. Thus, neural crest development is a key requisite for construction of the vertebrate body plan. We have been focusing on evolution of molecular mechanisms of neural crest development to understand evolution of the vertebrate body plan.

0Phylogenetic tree of multicellular animals.

1DAPI-stained image of a dicyemid mesozoan. Cell nuclei are brightly stained.

2Migrating neural crest cells. Green fluorescent cells outside the neural tube (NT) represents neural crest cells. Transverse section of the mouse trunk.


Furuya, H. Three new species of dicyemid Mesozoans (Phylum Dicyemida) from Amphioctopus fangsiao (Mollusca: Cephalopoda), with comments on the Occurrence Patterns of Dicyemids. Zoological Science 23 , 105 - 119 (2006)

Yoshida, M., Tsuneki, K. and Furuya, H. Phylogeny of selected Sepiidae (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) based on 12S, 16S, and COI sequences, with comments on the taxonomic reliability of several morphological characters. Zoological Science 23 , 341 - 351 (2006)

Fujita, K., Ogawa, R., Kawawaki, S. and Ito, K. Role of chromatin remodelers in maintenance mechanisms of mutipotency of mouse trunk neural crest cells in the formation of neural crest-derived stem cells. Mechanisms of Development 133 , 126 - 145 (2014)

Fujita, K., Ogawa, R. and Ito, K. CHD7, Oct3/4, Sox2, and Nanog control FoxD3 expression during mouse neural crest-derived stem cell formation. The FEBS Jounal 283 , 3791 - 3806 (2016)

Ogawa, R., Fujita, K. and Ito, K. Mouse embryonic dorsal root ganglia contain pluripotent stem cells that show features similar to embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Biology Open 6 , 602 - 618 (2017)


Graduate School of Science
Osaka University
Toyonaka, Machikaneyama 1-1
Osaka 560-0043

TEL:81-6-6850-5817 FAX:81-6-6850-5817(Dr. H. Furuya)
TEL:81-6-6850-5807 FAX:81-6-6850-5817(Dr. K. Ito)