At this laboratory we aim to clarify various life phenomena, biodiversity and life’s evolutionary processes by performing information processing and comparative analysis of genome information, that is, the entire genetic information of living organisms. In addition to large-scale bioinformatics analyses, biological experiments, such as DNA sequencing, etc., are also conducted.

Research themes include human/primate/plant/virus genome analysis, mutation rate measurement, the development of genetic information analysis methods, deep-sea benthos exploration, biodiversity analyses, life-earth interactions (astrobiology), the origin of life and zoonotic infections.

New deep-sea benthos exploration project


Human/primate genome analysis

The human genome is compared with that of chimpanzees and other primates to clarify gene information characteristic to humans and its function. The genomic regions that are likely to be characteristic of humans are identified by computational analysis, and functional analysis of these parts is performed preferentially by biological experiments.

Virus genome analysis

By collaborative research with the School of Medicine, we are performing genome analysis of adenoviruses, which cause epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Research is conducted on how the genome evolves to emerge a new type of adenovirus, and what part of the genome plays a key role in the infection and development of the disease, with a view to the prevention and treatment of the disease.

New deep-sea benthos species exploration project

It is considered that there are still many unknown organisms on the deep seabed. By collaborative research with the School of Fisheries, robots are used to take samples of mud from the deep seabed, and gene information of various bions is analyzed to explore new species.

Examples of research equipment

DNA sequencing system
PC cluster

Knowledge and technologies

Bio/gene-related knowledge

  • Molecular biology, genetics
  • Molecular evolution, population genetics
  • Statistics

Bio/gene-related basic technologies

  • DNA extraction technology
  • DNA sequencing technology

Bioinformatics analysis technologies

  • Bioinformatics analysis using sequencing analysis tools (MAFFT, MEGA, etc.)
  • Programming


Genomic comparison, bioinformatics, gene expression control, biological evolution, biodiversity, deep-sea benthic exploration

Members (as of FY2012)

  • Professor: Hidemi Watanabe, Sc.D.
  • Associate Professor: Kanako Koyanagi, Sc.D.


Address: Room 10-13 (professors), Room 10-18 (students)
10F, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University
Kita 14-jo, Nishi 9-chome, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-0814
Tel.: 011-706-6146 (Professor), -6787 (Associate Professor)
Fax: 011-706-7340 (Professor), -6787 (Associate Professor)