Masaru Hojo

Major research activity

MasaruHojoCooperation is widespread in all biological organization. Genes cooperate in genomes, cells cooperate in individual bodies, individuals cooperate in societies.

Social insects - such as bees, wasps, ants and termites - have evolved integrated societies and have a great ecological impact. They have various morphological or behavioral castes, enabling sophisticated division of labor and collective behavior. Ant societies also have cooperative association with other arthropods, called myrmecophilous insects, who utilize the resources of ant societies for their development. Communication is important to such cooperative interactions, and the ants use chemical signals (ex. pheromones) to communicate within the society.

In our laboratory, we study how do the ants perceive and recognize chemical signals, and how do chemical communication construct the collective social behavior and cooperative interaction.

Major relevant publications

  1. Shimoji H, Oguchi K, Hayashi Y, Hojo MK, Miura T (2017) Regulation of neotenic differentiation through direct physical contact in the damp-wood termiteĀ Hodotermopsis sjostedti. Insectes Sociaux, doi:10.1007/s00040-017-0562-y
  2. Hojo MK¶, Ishii K¶, Sakura M, Yamaguchi K, Shigenobu S, Ozaki M (2015) Antennal RNA-sequencing analysis reveals evolutionary aspects of chemosensory proteins in the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Scientific Reports 5: 13541 doi:10.1038/srep13541 [¶ Equal Contribution]
  3. Hojo MK, Pierce NE, Tsuji K (2015) Lycaenid caterpillar secretions manipulates attendant ant behavior. Current Biology 25(17): 2260-2264 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.016
  4. Maeda T, Tamotsu S, Iwasaki M, Nisimura T, Shimohigashi M, Hojo MK, Ozaki M. (2014) Neuronal projections and putative interaction of multimodal inputs in the subesophageal ganglion in the blowfly, Phormia regina. Chemical Senses 39(5): 391-401 doi:10.1093/chemse/bju007
  5. Hojo MK, Yamamoto A, Akino T, Tsuji K and Yamaoka R (2014) Ants use partner specific odors to learn to recognize a mutualistic partner. PLOS ONE 9(1): e86054, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086054