News Releases & Research Results Identification of gene regions and traits responsible for adaptive evolution in Japanese and Westerners - Alcohol and bread intakes are deeply involved in Japanese and Westerners, respectively

News Releases & Research Results


The results of collaborative research led by Professor Yukinori Okada of the Department of Statistical Genetics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, and others.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • Twenty-nine gene regions responsible for adaptive evolution (phenomena in which the properties of living organisms change with their surrounding environments over generations) in Japanese were identified by the analysis of large-scale human genome data collected from 170,000 Japanese by the BioBank Japan.
  • Also, the data collected by the UK BioBank*were analyzed, demonstrating that the traits relevant to adaptive evolution differed between the Japanese and Western populations.
    * The UK Biobank Organization publishes and distributes genomic and trait data collected from about 500,000 middle-aged and elderly volunteers.
  • In the Japanese population, alcohol intake, renal function, obesity, and immune diseases were responsible for adaptive evolution. In the Western population, bread intake, grip strength, walking speed, and spinal arthritis were identified.
  • The results of research should facilitate the elucidation of the history of Japanese adaptive evolution and the implementation of health promotion measures based on genetic backgrounds.

This research project was conducted with the support of Platform Program Promotion of Genome Medicine by AMED.

The research results were published in the British scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution on January 21.


Yasumizu Y., et al. Genome-wide natural selection signatures are linked to genetic risk of modern phenotypes in the Japanese population Molecular Biology and Evolution


Last updated 01/20/20