July 17 at 16:00 - 17:00, 2020
Dr. Miki Ebisuya (Group Leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Barcelona, Spain)
via Zoom

Different species have different tempos of development: larger animals tend to grow more slowly than smaller animals. My group has been trying to understand the molecular basis of this interspecies difference in developmental time, using the segmentation clock as a model system.

The segmentation clock is the oscillatory gene expressions that regulate the timing of body segment formation during early embryogenesis. We have recently succeeded in recapitulating the segmentation clock from both human and mouse pluripotent stem cells, detecting oscillations and traveling waves in vitro. Interestingly, the oscillation period of human segmentation clock was 5-6 hours while that of mouse was 2-3 hours. Taking advantage of our in vitro system and simple mathematical models, we have been comparing the genome sequences and molecular processes of the segmentation clock between human and mouse to explain the interspecies difference in the oscillation period.


  1. Matsuda et al., “Species-specific oscillation periods of human and mouse segmentation clocks are due to cell autonomous differences in biochemical reaction parameters”, bioRxiv, (2019)
  2. Matsuda et al., “Recapitulating the human segmentation clock with pluripotent stem cells”, Nature, 580 (2020)