My previous research in Japan focused on the development of genetic tools for marine bivalves. Inspired by the experience, I am seeking to find efficient and universally applicable methods to study non-model organisms that lack research infrastructure. As a biologist, I am most excited about the evolution of reproduction, everything from gametogenesis to reproductive behavior.

Education & Certifications

  • Master of Science, Tohoku University, Agricultural Science (2023)
  • Bachelor of Science, Tohoku University, Applied Bioscience (2021)

All Publications

  • Hemocytes of Yesso scallop characterized by cytological, molecular marker, and functional analyses. Fish & shellfish immunology Nagasawa, K., Kanamori, M., Yoon, J., Kobayashi, M., Mokrina, M., Kato, T., Osada, M. 2023; 137: 108751


    Bivalve hemocytes have pivotal role as cellular biodefense. However, no information is available for cytological parameters, marker gene and function of the hemocytes in Yesso scallop, a commercially important aquaculture species worldwide. Due to their extremely strong cell aggregation ability, the scallop hemocytes were not able to assess as a single cell so far. In the present study, we established methodologies for studying the hemocytes of Yesso scallop, assessed cell morphology, measured seasonal fluctuation, and analyzed transcriptomes and cellular behavior during the immune response. Our results showed that the Yesso scallop possesses a single type of leukocyte-type hemocytes similar to other bivalve granulocytes circulating at an average of 1 × 107 cells/ml throughout the year. In addition, we identified five molecular marker genes specific to the scallop hemocytes. These hemocyte markers enabled us to precisely detect the hemocyte localization. Using these markers, we confirmed that tissue transplantation can experimentally induce an immune response, leading to the mobilization of circulating hemocytes for encapsulation. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of scallop hemocytes and their role in the cellular biodefense system of bivalves and various methods for cytological analysis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.fsi.2023.108751

    View details for PubMedID 37105424

  • Gene delivery available in molluscan cells by strong promoter discovered from bivalve-infectious virus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Yoon, J., Gu, W. B., Konuma, M., Kobayashi, M., Yokoi, H., Osada, M., Nagasawa, K. 2022; 119 (45): e2209910119


    Understanding gene functions in marine invertebrates has been limited, largely due to the lack of suitable assay systems. Such a system requires investigative methods that are reproducible and can be quantitatively evaluated, such as a cell line, and a strong promoter that can drive high expression of a transgene. In this study, we established primary cell culture from a marine bivalve mollusc, Mizuhopecten yessoensis. Using scallop primary cells, we optimized electroporation conditions for transfection and carried out a luciferase-based promoter activity assay to identify strong promoter sequences that can drive expression of a gene of interest. We evaluated potential promoter sequences from genes of endogenous and exogenous origin and discovered a strong viral promoter derived from a bivalve-infectious virus, ostreid herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1). This promoter, we termed OsHV-1 promoter, showed 24.7-fold and 16.1-fold higher activity than the cytomegalovirus immediate early (CMV IE) promoter and the endogenous EF1α promoter, the two most commonly used promoters in bivalves so far. Our GFP assays showed that the OsHV-1 promoter is active not only in scallop cells but also in HEK293 cells and zebrafish embryos. The OsHV-1 promoter practically enables functional analysis of marine molluscan genes, which can contribute to unveiling gene-regulatory networks underlying astonishing regeneration, adaptation, reproduction, and aging in marine invertebrates.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2209910119

    View details for PubMedID 36322729

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9661190