PWS symposium

Academic Symposium

November 16 and 17, 2023
W-100 Lecture room, Graduate School of Agriculture (Keynote speech)
Science Seminar House (other academic programs)
[Registration Form] CLOSED

* We do not have a registration deadline, and on-site registration is also welcome.


Public symposium (in Japanese)
November 18, 2023
京都文化教育センター302号室とYoutube配信のハイブリット形式 Kyoto cultural and education center room 302 and Youtube live-stream


Keynote Speeches

November 16 (Thr) 13:30 - 14:30
W-100 Lecture room, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
京都大学農学部総合館 W-100 講義室

Dr. Leif Andersson

Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA
Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Genetic characterization of a supergene controlling male mating strategies in ruff

A paradox in evolutionary biology is how supergenes can maintain high fitness despite reduced effective population size, the suppression of recombination, and the expected accumulation of mutational load. The ruff supergene involves two rare inversion haplotypes (Satellite and Faeder) (Lamichhaney et al. 2016). These are recessive lethals but with dominant effects on male mating strategies, plumage, and body size. Sequence divergence to the wild-type (Independent) haplotype indicates that the inversion could be as old as 4 million years. We have constructed a highly contiguous genome assembly of the inversion region for both the Independent and Satellite haplotypes. Based on the new data we estimate that the recombination event(s) between an inverted and non-inverted chromosome creating the Satellite haplotype occurred only about 70,000 years ago. Contrary to expectations for supergenes, we find no substantial expansion of repeats and only a very modest mutation load on the Satellite and Faeder haplotypes despite high sequence divergence to the non-inverted haplotype (1.46%). The essential centromere protein N gene CENPN is disrupted by the inversion, and surprisingly is as well conserved on the inversion haplotypes as on the noninversion haplotype. These results suggest that the inversion may be much younger than previously thought. The low mutation load, despite recessive lethality, may be explained by the introgression of the inversion from a now extinct lineage. We also observe accelerated evolution of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (MC1R) which shows four missense mutations between the Satellite and Independent alleles which is likely to cause light colored ornamental feathers in Satellite males. MC1R mutations are causing pigmentation variation in chicken, cattle, horse, pigs and other domestic animals.
  1. • Lamichhaney et al. 2016. Structural genomic changes underlie alternative reproductive strategies in the ruff (Philomachus pugnax). Nature Genetics 48:84-88. DOI
  2. • Schwochow et al. (2021) The feather pattern autosomal barring is strongly associated with segregation at the MC1R locus. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 34:1015-1028. DOI

November 17 (Fri) 13:30 - 14:30
Science Seminar House, Kyoto University
京都大学 理学セミナーハウス

Dr. Yosuke Otani

Center for the Study of Co* Design, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

Wildlife conservation as a social issue and PhDs' potential contribution to 'wicked problems'

Society is full of complex issues that require expertise to solve. Many of these issues are 'wicked problems', which are difficult to define and solve due to their multifaceted nature. Unlike regions struggling with deforestation due to development, Japan is in a period of recovery from historical over-hunting and habitat loss, leading to an increase in medium to large mammals such as Japanese macaques. This re-expansion has led to animal damage problems, represented by agricultural damage. The problem is multifaceted, involving elements of primary industry sustainability, ageing society, depopulation, animal welfare and land conservation. While methodologies exist to mitigate these conflicts, the practical implementation of these solutions is often hampered by community dynamics and conflicting stakeholder interests. The crux of the conservation problem lies not with the animals, but with human systems and attitudes.

To tackle such wicked problems, a collaborative approach involving experts and stakeholders from different sectors is essential. As a case study of wicked problems, this presentation will focus on the conservation challenges faced by Japanese macaques and pig-tailed macaques. It will also present examples of interdisciplinary efforts at the Co Design Centre and the Cross-Boundary Innovation (CBI) programme, where researchers and students from a variety of disciplines, including the presenter, have engaged in addressing societal problems. On the basis of these examples, I would like to demonstrate the effectiveness of a multi-perspective approach to problems and the pedagogical benefits of such educational programmes.

Note to Participants


  1. The academic symposium (16th and 17th November) will be held face-to-face at W-100 Lecture room, Graduate School of Agriculture (Keynote speech) and Science Seminar House (other academic program), Kyoto University. The public symposium (18th November) will be held in hybrid format (Kyoto cultural and education center room 302 and Youtube live-stream).
  2. For scheduling reasons, we may not be able to accommodate your preferred type of presentation and may ask you to change your presentation type (e.g., from oral to poster).
  3. You must be registered to attend the symposium even if you are not presenting.
  4. You may not disseminate the content of any presentation without an explicit permission from the presenter.
  1. 本シンポジウムのうち11月16日と17日のプログラムは、京都大学農学部総合館 W-100講義室(基調講演)と理学セミナーハウス(その他プログラム)における対面開催を予定しています。Zoom配信は行いません。11月18日は公開シンポジウムとして、京都文化教育センター302号室とYoutube配信のハイブリット形式で行います。
  2. 開催日程の都合により、発表形式の変更等をお願いする場合がございます。予めご了承ください。
  3. 聴講のみの方も参加登録が必要ですので、ご注意ください。
  4. 発表内容を発表者の許可なく拡散することは禁止します。