Research Support

International collaboration for comparative genomic study on the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms of species diversity

Project Gist

Revealing the divergence of genomes behind the species richness of insects


Insect, Species Diversity, Genome, Adaptation, Evolution

Background and Purpose

This project aims to reveal the genetic basis of key traits underlying the diversification of species in insects by means of comparative genomics using whole genome sequence data. In addition, the evolutionary processes of the key traits and speciation processes will be reconstructed based on the sequence data from whole genomes of target groups. Periodical cicadas in the eastern United States and the polymorphism of Batesian mimicry in Papilio butterflies are the main insect groups studied in this project.

Project Achievements

In the first year of the project, researchers from Japan, United States, China, Great Britain and Taiwan gathered in Kyoto to promote the cooperative study for species diversity based on whole genomic studies and discuss the possibility of new study projects. As for the study of periodical cicadas, the project leader visited the core laboratory of periodical cicada study at University of Connecticut in the first year. In the second year, a workshop was held in Kyoto, inviting researchers from US and China, to establish the cooperative relationship among the three countries and discuss about future research plans including proposal of new projects.

Future Prospects

We will conduct studies planned in this SPIRITS project in the next few years. Especially, we will perform whole genome sequencing and comparative genomic analyses of periodical cicadas, and in doing so, we will foster young successors of the periodical cicada study.


Mixer of project members at Kyoto University, August 2017
Periodical Cicada Workshop at Kyoto University, August 2018
Periodical Cicada Workshop in Kyoto 2018

Joint Research/Academic Institutions Abroad

University of Connecticut, China Agricultural University, National Taiwan Normal University, Imperial College London, Natural History Museum, Washington State University

Principal Investigator

Sota Teiji

・SOTA Teiji
・Graduate School of Science
・1986 Dr. of Agriculture at Kyoto University. After working at Saga Medical School and Faculty of Science, Shinshu University, he has been working for Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University since 1998. He conducts evolutionary ecology studies to answer the question, “why are there are so many species of insects on our planet?”