Scientific Paper on a Joint Research by ICU Alumni and Faculty Wins 2020 JSFS Award of Excellence for the Science Papers

Update: April 27, 2021

Ms. Yu Shinohara

A scientific paper on a joint research by Ms. Yu Shinohara (major: Biology; minor: Gender and Sexuality Studies), who graduated from ICU in March 2014, and Prof. Makito Kobayashi of ICU (major: Biology, Environmental Studies) won the 2020 Award of Excellence for the Science Papers instituted by the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science.
This science paper award is given to an especially outstanding paper selected from the reports published in Fisheries Science and Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi (the official journals of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science) in 2020.


Ms. Yu Shinohara
Ms. Yu Shinohara

Research theme:

Sexual bipotentiality of the olfactory pathway for sexual behavior in goldfish
There are many fishes in nature that change sex in their lifetime. These fishes show both male and female sexual behavior in their lifetime. Goldfish normally do not change their sex, but exhibit sexual behavior of the opposite sex when administered hormones. This shows that the fish brain has two neural circuits (sexual bipotentiality of the brain) that control both male and female sexual behavior. So far, we have identified the mechanism that the goldfish employs during sexual behavior, wherein the sexual activity is triggered when a male fish catches the smell of a female and a female catches the environmental smell. In our research, we found that the female requires the smell of another female to exhibit male sexual behavior, and likewise the male has to sense the environmental smell when exhibiting female sexual behavior. This showed that the goldfish's olfactory system has sexual bipotentiality and adapts to both male and female sexual behavior.


Comment from Prof. Makito Kobayashi who guided the research:

The research was Ms. Yu Shinohara's 2013 graduation thesis, which I rewrote, in scientific paper style, and sent to Fisheries Science, which published it. Ms. Shinohara worked hard and carried out four experiments in one year and delivered clear results. Moreover, she also did a poster presentation of the research at an international science meet in Taiwan in March, prior to her graduation. After that it took some time to submit the scientific paper as I had fallen sick, but eventually it was published without any issues, which made me relieved. I am happy that the study has not lost its freshness and originality even with the passage of time and has been acclaimed as an outstanding research.

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