Yoshinori Tomoyasu

Associate Professor

252 Pearson Hall  (513) 529-3126

Biographical Information

My research interest is to understand how changes in patterning mechanisms have contributed to the evolution of morphological diversity. We use insect wings as a model, analyzing the differences in developmental systems between beetles (Tribolium) and flies (Drosophila) to understand the molecular changes that have caused diverged wing morphologies in these insects.

One other direction we are pursuing is the systemic aspect of a process called RNA interference (RNAi) in Tribolium. RNAi, in which dsRNA suppresses the translation of homologous mRNA, is a highly conserved cellular defence mechanism. In some organisms, the RNAi response can be transmitted systemically from cell to cell, a phenomenon termed “systemic RNAi”. Understanding systemic RNAi will be critical for the application of RNAi to many other insects, which will open up the possibility of functional analysis in many non-model insects/ arthropods.

Home Page:  http://www.miamioh.edu/tomoyasu

Research Interests

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo-devo)
Molecular and Cellular Biology

Courses Taught

Molecular Biology (ZOO 544/444)
Graduate Seminar (ZOO 710 Development and Evolution)
Seminar in Zoology (ZOO 491 Ten Great Inventions in Evolution)
Biological Concepts: Structure, Function, Cellular and Molecular Biology (ZOO 116)
Recent Publications

  1. Rodriguez JC, Blitz DM, Nusbaum MP (2013) Convergent rhythm generation from divergent cellular mechanisms. J Neurosci, In Press.Clark-Hachtel C.M., Linz D.M., Tomoyasu Y. Insights into Insect Wing Origin Provided by Functional Analysis of vestigial in the Beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 15;110(42):16951-6 (2013)
  2. Tomoyasu, Y.*, Arakane, Y., Kramer, K.J., Denell, R.E.
  3. Repeated co-options of exoskeleton formation during wing-to-elytron evolution in beetles. Curr Biol. 2009 Dec 29;19(24):2057-65. *corresponding author
  4. Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortiuma, The first genome sequence of a beetle, Tribolium castaneum, a model for insect development and pest biology. Nature. 452 (7190), 949-55 (2008)
  5. aplayed a leading role in the RNAi section, and I also was a primary contributor in the developmental biology section.
  6. Tomoyasu Y*., Wheeler S.R., Denell R.E. Ultrabithorax is required for membranous wing identity in the beetle Tribolium castaneum. Nature. 433(7026):643-7. (2005) *corresponding author
  7. Tomoyasu Y., Denell R.E. Larval RNAi in Tribolium (Coleoptera) for analyzing adult development. Development Genes and Evolution. 214(11):575-8. (2004)