Unveiling the secret of
germline cells

Research Theme

Although individual animals do die, the species are maintained by sexual reproduction which give rises to next generation. Individuals are just like vehicles in which passenger –genetic information– can ride to be inherited to next generation through germline lineage. As such, germline cells are the most important cells to maintain the species. Drosophila melanogaster is one of the ideal model organisms where we can study gametogenesis. How are germline stem cells maintained in the microenvironment, niche? What is the molecular mechanism that controls germline cells to mature into egg and sperm? How germline genomes are safely guarded by non-coding RNA from transposons attacks? Our group has been addressing such molecular mechanisms for better understanding of gametogenesis.


We hosted a farewell lunch party for Fengmei! She always worked hard and had a cheerful spirit. We’ll miss you, but do your best in China!
Fengmei had her doctoral thesis defense! She presented her four years of research work including research student and PhD era, and she was successfully awarded PhD. Congratulations!
PhD work by Kai’s lab previous student, Lin-san, came out in JCB! Congratulation!
Lin Y, Suyama R, Kawaguchi S, Iki T, Kai T. (2023) Tejas functions as a core component in nuage assembly and precursor processing in Drosophila piRNA biogenesis. J. Cell Biol. 222(10):e202303125
A research paper by Associate Prof. Iki as the first author has been published in Science Advance!
Iki T, Kawaguchi S, Kai T. (2023) miRNA/siRNA-directed pathway to produce noncoding piRNAs from endogenous protein-coding regions ensures Drosophila spermatogenesis. Science Advances 9(29)
A research fellow joined!! Welcome aboard, Yen-san!
We had a farewell party in Banpaku Ko-en on June 17! Lin-san spent 5 yrs in Kai-lab and contributed a lot to the lab… we all miss you and keep in touch. Good luck on your journey in home country, China!!
We had a farewell and welcome party under the cherry blossoms in full bloom! This is the first party since after COVID19 pandemic, and we had a great time. Xenia is returning to Singapore with the gift from us!! We miss you~.
Xenia Lim (D5/D5) presented her achievement at the doctoral thesis defense and was successfully awarded her doctorate! Congratulations!!
Wakana Isshiki, a D2/D5 student, presented her achievement at the mid-term exam, and successfully received her master’s degree! Congratulations!! Wakana will go on to D3 as a JSPS Research Fellow (DC1)!

Meeting Attendance

The meeting of Transformative Research Areas A at Tsuruoka (Tsuruoka, Yamagata)
The 28th Annual Meeting of the RNA Society (Singapore)
The 45th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan (Chiba)
2022 EMBO Workshop on PIWI Proteins and piRNAs (Online Conference)
The 44th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan (Yokohama, Kanagawa)
The 62nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference (Online Conference)
The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan (Online Conference)
Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference 5 (APDRC5) (IISER Pune, India)
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan (Fukuoka)
RNA Frontier Meeting 2019 (Izu, Shizuoka)
52nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists (Osaka)