Tohru Sugawara

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Divergent natural selection acting on ecological traits, which also affect mate choice, is a key element of ecological speciation theory, but has not previously been demonstrated at the molecular gene level to our knowledge. Here we demonstrate parallel evolution in two cichlid genera under strong divergent selection in a gene that affects both. Strong(More)
Many examples of the appearance of similar traits in different lineages are known during the evolution of organisms. However, the underlying genetic mechanisms have been elucidated in very few cases. Here, we provide a clear example of evolutionary parallelism, involving changes in the same genetic pathway, providing functional adaptation of RH1 pigments to(More)
Rhodopsin is a photoreceptive protein present in vertebrate rod photoreceptor cells, which are responsible for scotopic vision. Recent molecular studies have shown that several aquatic vertebrate species have independently acquired rhodopsin containing Asp83Asn, Glu122Gln, and Ala292Ser substitutions, causing a blue shift in the rhodopsin absorption spectra(More)
Reproductive isolation that prevents interspecific hybridization between closely related coexisting species maintains sympatric species diversity. One of the reproductive isolations is mate choice based on color signals (breeding color perceived by color vision). This is well known in several animal taxa, yet little is known about its genetic and molecular(More)
In mammals, bitter taste is mediated by T2R genes, which belong to the large family of seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors. Because T2Rs are directly involved in the interaction between mammals and their dietary sources, it is likely that these genes evolved to reflect species' specific diets during mammalian evolution. Here, we investigated the(More)
Reverse evolution is a widespread phenomenon in biology, but the genetic mechanism for the reversal of a genetic change for adaptation to the ancestral state is not known. Here, we report the first case of complete reverse evolution of two amino acids, serine and alanine, at a single position in RH1 opsin pigment for adaptation to water depth. We determined(More)
Bitter taste perception evolved as a key detection mechanism against the ingestion of bioactive substances, and is mediated by TAS2R gene family members in vertebrates. The most widely known and best studied bitter substance is phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), which is recognized by TAS2R38 and has a molecular structure similar to that of glucosinolates contained(More)
Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have region-specific difference in dietary repertoires from East to West across tropical Africa. Such differences may result from different genetic backgrounds in addition to cultural variations. We analyzed the sequences of all bitter taste receptor genes (cTAS2Rs) in a total of 59 chimpanzees, including 4 putative subspecies.(More)