Matsunami Masatoshi



Assistant Professor

Researcher Number(JSPS Kakenhi)


Current Affiliation Organization 【 display / non-display

  • Duty   University of the Ryukyus   Graduate School of Medicine   Assistant Professor  

External Career 【 display / non-display

  • 2012.04

    Hokkaido University  

  • 2015.04

    Hokkaido University  

  • 2016.09

    University of the Ryukyus  

  • 2019.01

    University of the Ryukyus  

Affiliated academic organizations 【 display / non-display






    Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 





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Research Interests 【 display / non-display

  • Population genetics

  • Phenotypic plasticity

  • Bioinformatics

  • Molecular evolution

  • molecular anthropology

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Research Areas 【 display / non-display

  • Life Science / Evolutionary biology

  • Life Science / Physical anthropology

  • Life Science / Ecology and environment

Published Papers 【 display / non-display

  • Transcriptomics on Social Interactions in Termites: Effects of Soldier Presence

    Masatoshi Matsunami, Dai Watanabe, Kokuto Fujiwara, Yoshinobu Hayashi, Shuji Shigenobu, Toru Miura, Kiyoto Maekawa

    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution ( Frontiers Media SA )  10   2022.06 [ Peer Review Accepted ]

    Type of publication: Research paper (scientific journal)

     View Summary

    The organization of social insect colonies requires sophisticated mechanisms to regulate caste composition according to colony demands. In termites, the soldier caste is responsible for the inhibition of soldier differentiation, but the mechanism underlying the regulation of soldier differentiation is still unclear. In this study, we performed transcriptome analyses to identify genes expressed in workers that fluctuated in the presence of soldiers in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. First, soldier differentiation was artificially induced via juvenile hormone (JH) application, and the inhibitory effects of soldier differentiation on soldier presence were evaluated. Second, transcriptomes were prepared from workers with or without soldiers under JH treatment, and expression analyses were performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for each treatment. The expression levels of several DEGs were verified by quantitative real-time PCR. The results indicated that only a small number of DEGs were upregulated by the presence of soldiers. A homology search of DEGs and gene ontology (GO) analysis of the DEGs showed that some genes were responsible for the regulation of hormone levels, social interaction, and response to xenobiotic substances, suggesting that they could be involved in developmental arrest and pheromonal regulation in workers. Moreover, GO analysis indicated that the expression of many genes, including those involved in hormone metabolic processes, fluctuated with JH application. Suppression of soldier differentiation in the presence of soldiers could be accomplished by the expression of a large number of genes required for soldier differentiation.

  • Genomic and transcriptomic analyses of the subterranean termite <i>Reticulitermes speratus</i>: Gene duplication facilitates social evolution.

    Shigenobu S, Hayashi Y, Watanabe D, Tokuda G, Hojo MY, Toga K, Saiki R, Yaguchi H, Masuoka Y, Suzuki R, Suzuki S, Kimura M, Matsunami M, Sugime Y, Oguchi K, Niimi T, Gotoh H, Hojo MK, Miyazaki S, Toyoda A, Miura T, Maekawa K

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America )  119 ( 3 )   2022.01 [ Peer Review Accepted ]

    Type of publication: Research paper (scientific journal)

  • Transcriptomic Changes in Hot Spring Frog Tadpoles (Buergeria otai) in Response to Heat Stress

    Shohei Komaki, Masatoshi Matsunami, Jhan-Wei Lin, Ko-Huan Lee, Yen-Po Lin, Yu Lee, Si-Min Lin, Takeshi Igawa

    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution ( Frontiers Media SA )  9   2021.10 [ Peer Review Accepted ]

    Type of publication: Research paper (scientific journal)

     View Summary

    <italic>Buergeria</italic> frog tadpoles exhibit high thermal tolerance and are occasionally found in water pools that temporarily exceed 40°C. With the aim of understanding how they can cope with the severe heat stress, we performed RNA-seq of three heat-treated (38°C) and three control (25°C) tadpoles and compared their transcriptomic profiles. We identified 382 differentially expressed transcripts. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analysis of these transcripts further identified hub proteins involved in protein degradation, stress granule assembly, and global suppression of DNA transcription and mRNA translation. Along with the avoidance behavior against high water temperature, these endurance mechanisms potentially support tadpoles to survive in high temperatures for short periods of time. Similar mechanisms may exist in many other amphibian species whose habitats are prone to high temperatures.

  • Species divergence and repeated ancient hybridization in a Sulawesian lake system.

    Mandagi IF, Kakioka R, Montenegro J, Kobayashi H, Masengi KWA, Inomata N, Nagano AJ, Toyoda A, Ansai S, Matsunami M, Kimura R, Kitano J, Kusumi J, Yamahira K

    Journal of evolutionary biology ( Journal of Evolutionary Biology )  34 ( 11 ) 1767 - 1780   2021.09 [ Peer Review Accepted ]

    Type of publication: Research paper (scientific journal)

     View Summary

    An increasing volume of empirical studies demonstrated that hybridization between distant lineages may have promoted speciation in various taxa. However, the timing, extent and direction of introgressive hybridization remain unknown in many cases. Here, we report a possible case in which repeated hybridization promoted divergence of Oryzias ricefishes (Adrianichthyidae) on Sulawesi, an island of Wallacea. Four Oryzias species are endemic to the Malili Lake system in central Sulawesi, which is composed of five tectonic lakes; of these, one lake is inhabited by two species. Morphological and population genomic analyses of genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed that these two sympatric species are phylogenetically sister to but substantially reproductively isolated from each other. Analyses of admixture and comparison of demographic models revealed that the two sympatric species experienced several substantial introgressions from outgroup populations that probably occurred soon after they had secondary contact with each other in the lake. However, the ratio of migrants from the outgroups was estimated to be different between the two species, which is consistent with the hypothesis that these introgressions aided their divergence or prevented them from forming a hybrid swarm. Repeated lake fragmentations and fusions may have promoted diversification of this freshwater fish species complex that is endemic to this ancient lake system.

  • Coevolution between MHC Class I and Antigen-Processing Genes in Salamanders

    Gemma Palomar, Katarzyna Dudek, Magdalena Migalska, J W Arntzen, G Francesco Ficetola, Dušan Jelić, Elizabeth Jockusch, Inigo Martínez-Solano, Masatoshi Matsunami, H Bradley Shaffer, Judit Vörös, Bruce Waldman, Ben Wielstra, Wiesław Babik, Yuseob Kim

    Molecular Biology and Evolution ( Oxford University Press ({OUP}) )  38 ( 11 ) 5092 - 5106   2021.08 [ Peer Review Accepted ]

    Type of publication: Research paper (scientific journal)

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Other Papers 【 display / non-display

  • 琉球列島人の集団ゲノム解析

    松波雅俊, 今村美菜子, 小金渕佳江, 木村亮介, 堀越桃子, 寺尾知可史, 鎌谷洋一郎, 石田肇, 前田士郎

    日本進化学会大会プログラム・講演要旨集(Web)   21st   105 (WEB ONLY)   2019.08



  • 遺伝子発現量の表現型値への影響度を推定する統計学的手法の開発

    道前洋史, 松波雅俊, 江村剛志

    日本生態学会大会講演要旨(Web)   66th   ROMBUNNO.P2‐367 (WEB ONLY)   2019.02



  • 可塑的形態のリアクションノームの地域変異はRAD‐seqによる集団遺伝情報から読み解けるか

    松波雅俊, 北野潤, 岸田治, 道前洋史, 永野惇, 豊田敦, 藤山秋佐夫, 三浦徹, 西村欣也

    日本進化学会大会プログラム・講演要旨集(Web)   20th   105 (WEB ONLY)   2018.08



  • Highly-structured freshwater fish populations within a single river system

    MANDAGI Ixchel Feibie, MANDAGI Ixchel Feibie, LAWELLE Sjamsu Alam, MASENGI Kawilarang, Warouw Alex, MOKODONGAN Daniel Frikli, NAGANO Atsushi J, MATSUNAMI Masatoshi, KIMURA Ryosuke, YAMAHIRA Kazunori

    日本生態学会大会講演要旨(Web)   65th   ROMBUNNO.P2‐125 (WEB ONLY)   2018



  • Just-completed sympatric speciation in an ancient lake

    NOBU Sutra, MOKODONGAN Daniel Frikli, NAGANO Atsushi J, MATSUNAMI Masatoshi, KIMURA Ryosuke, YAMAHIRA Kazunori

    日本生態学会大会講演要旨(Web)   65th   ROMBUNNO.P2‐126 (WEB ONLY)   2018



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Academic Awards 【 display / non-display

  • GGS PRIZE 2021

    2021.09   The Genetics Society of Japan  

    Winner: Mori S, Matsunami M

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research 【 display / non-display

  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research(C)

    Project Year: 2021.04  -  2024.03 

    Direct: 3,300,000 (YEN)  Overheads: 4,290,000 (YEN)  Total: 990,000 (YEN)

  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research(C)

    Project Year: 2020.04  -  2023.03 

    Direct: 3,300,000 (YEN)  Overheads: 4,290,000 (YEN)  Total: 990,000 (YEN)

  • Evolution of Yaponesians based on genome sequence analyses of modern humans

    Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a proposed research area)

    Project Year: 2018.06  -  2023.03 

    Direct: 75,600,000 (YEN)  Overheads: 98,280,000 (YEN)  Total: 22,680,000 (YEN)

  • Evolution and molecular mechanism of phenotypic plasticity in the Hokkaido salamander

    Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists(B)

    Project Year: 2016.04  -  2019.03 

    Direct: 3,400,000 (YEN)  Overheads: 4,420,000 (YEN)  Total: 1,020,000 (YEN)