2021-10-20 Press Release

A collaborative research group including Dr. Jeffrey Fawcett (Senior Research Scientist, iTHEMS) has sequenced the genome of a tropical tree species, Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae), which is important for the global environment and as an imported timber. Although the trees grow in tropical East Asia, which is blessed with abundant rainfall, they unexpectedly showed an increase in drought-responsive genes, revealing the importance of rare droughts in the tropics. Global environmental change is exacerbating large-scale drought associated with El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO) in the tropics, and it is expected that the results of this study will be applied toward sustainable forestry and tropical rainforest conservation.

For more information, please visit the Yokohama City University website.


  1. Kevin Kit Siong Ng, Masaki J. Kobayashi, Jeffrey A. Fawcett, et. al., The genome of Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae) highlights the ecological relevance of drought in aseasonal tropical rainforests, Communications Biology 4, 1166 (2021), doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02682-1

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