Evolution of Insect host selection mechanism Laboratory

Larvae of butterflies feed special host plants. We aim to understand of biological interaction between insects and plants by identification of mechanism for host recognition in chemosensory hair on fore-tarsi.

Research content

A host recognition system in female butterflies has critical role for survival of next generation larvae. Because they feed special host plants only. Mother butterflies select a suitable plants through drumming behavior by forelegs tarsi. Chemosensory hairs on foreleg tarsi are work to sense chemical cues in the host plants as taste. When female butterflies feel tastants from host on a piece of paper or artificial leaves by chemo-sensilla, they lay eggs on the it.

We hypothesize that genes of chemoreceptors and carrier proteins work as key factor of oviposition stimulants recognition system. We aim to understand evolution mechanism driven by host shift through study of those genes and functions.



AdvisorHiroshi YOSHIKAWA,Ph.D.

Katsuhisa OZAKI

ResearcherKatsuhisa OZAKI,Ph.D.

Atsushi UGAJIN

Post-Doctoral fellowAtsushi UGAJIN,Ph.D.


Research AssistantYurie HIROSAKI


Post-graduate studentRei MISHASHITA

Latest publication

Publication list

Ai Muto-Fujita, Kazuhiro Takemoto, Shigehiko Kanaya, Takeru Nakazato, Toshiaki Tokimatsu, Natsushi Matsumoto, Mayo Kono, Yuko Chubachi, Katsuhisa Ozaki & Masaaki Kotera (2017)
Data integration aids understanding of butterfly–host plant networks
Scientific RepoRts | 7:43368 | DOI: 10.1038/srep43368


Masasuke Ryuda, Delphine Calas-List, Ayumi Yamada, Frédéric Marion-Poll,Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Teiichi Tanimura, and Katsuhisa Ozaki (2013)
Gustatory sensing mechanism coding for multiple oviposition stimulants in
the swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus Journal of Neuroscience 33 (3) 914-924



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