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Okinawa Churashima RESEARCH CENTER

Research on marine organisms

Research staff profile

Masaru Nakamura

Masaru Nakamura


Area of expertise Reproductive physiology of fish
Research content Research on the sex differentiation and determination mechanisms of cartilaginous fish (sharks and rays)
Research on mechanisms of the sex transformation of fish, Research on the sex maturation of coral, Research on the sterilization of fish


  • 1973 - Enrollment for doctor’s program of Fisheries Science Hokkaido University, Japan
  • 1976 - Withdrawal from doctor’s program of Fisheries Science Hokkaido University, Japan
  • 1978 - Doctor of Fisheries Science (Hokkaido University)
  • 1990 - Assistant professor of the Faculty of Law at Teikyo University
  • 2000 - Professor at the Tropical Biosphere Research Center at the University of the Ryukyus
  • 2012 - Current post at the Ocean Exposition Commemorative Park Management Foundation (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium) Research Center

Awards received

  • 2000 - Progress Award of The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science

Major books, essays, reports

  • “B. Paul-Prasanth, R. K. Bhandar, T. Kobayashi, R. Horiguchi{, Y. Kobayashi,M. Nakamoto, Y. Shibata{, F. Sakai{, M. Nakamura & Y. Nagahama 2013 Estrogen oversees the maintenance of the female genetic program in terminally differentiated gonochorists. Sci Rep 3 : 2862 ”
  • Paul-Prasanth B., Nakamura M., Nagahama Y., 2010, Sex differentiation in fish. Hormones and Reproduction of Vertebrates, Vol. 1. Fishes, Elsevier Inc. .1-12.
  • Kobayashi Y., Nagahama Y.,, Nakamura M., Diversity and plasticity of sex determination and differentiation in fishes. Sexual Development. DOI: 10.1159/000342009
  • Kobayashi Yasuhisa, Usami, Takeshi; Sunobe, Tomoki; Manabe, Hisaya; Nagahama, Yoshitaka; Nakamura, Masaru, Histological observation of the urogenital papillae in bi-directional sex changing gobiid fish, Trimma okinawae. Zool Sci. In press
  • Ruksana S., Alam MA., Kobayashi Y., Nakamura M., 2011, Differentiation of steroid-producing cells (SPCs) and folliculogenesis in the developing ovary of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis nilotica. Zool Sci 28: 845–852
  • Kobayashi, Y., Nozu ,R., Nakamura M., 2011, Role of estrogen in spermatogenesis in initial phase male of the three spot-wrasse Halichoeres trimaculatus. Devel Dynamics. 240: 116-121
  • Murata R., Hirofumi Karimata H, Kazuo Kishimoto K, Yasuhisa Kobayashi Y, Tohru Kobayashi T., Nakamura M., 2011, Two types of steroid-producing cells in the gonads during sex differentiation in the protogynous Malbar grouper, Epinephelus malbaricus. Int J Develop Biol 55: 619-625
  • Kobayashi Y., Horiguchi R., Nozu R., Nakamura M., 2010, Expression and localization of forkhead transcriptional factor 2 (Foxl2) in the gonads of protogynous wrasse Halichoeres trimaculatus. J Biol Sex Differences. 1-3
  • Keiichi Sato, Masaru Nakamura, Taketeru Tomita, Minoru Toda, Kei Miyamoto, Ryo Nozu. 2016. How great white sharks nourish their embryos to a large size: evidence of lipid histotrophy in lamnoid shark reproduction. Biology Open 2016 5: 1211-1215; doi: 10.1242/bio.017939
  • Tomita, T., Nozu, R., Nakamura, M., Matsuzaki, S., Miyamoto, K., Sato, K. 2017. Live-bearing without placenta: Physical estimation indicates the high oxygen-supplying ability of white shark uterus to the embryo. Scientific Reports. 7:11744.

Affiliated academic society

  • The Zoological Society of Japan
  • The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science
  • The Japan Society for Comparative Endocrinology
  • Japan Society of Endocrine Disrupters Research
  • The Ichthyological Society of Japan
  • Japanese Society for Elasmobranch Studies, etc.