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Nakabachi, Atsushi

Affiliation Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute(EIIRIS)
Title Associate Professor
Fields of Research Biology of Symbiosis, Entomology, Microbiology
Degree Ph.D. (The University of Tokyo)
Academic Societies Society of Genome Microbiology, Japan; The Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology; The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology; The Zoological Society of Japan; Society of Evolutionary Studies, Japan
E-mail nakabachi@eiiris
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Laboratory website URL
Researcher information URL(researchmap) Researcher information


Our research interests focus on the molecular basis for the symbiosis between multicellular organisms and microbes, which has not only been playing key roles in evolutionary history of life, but is also important for agricultural and medical biotechnologies.

Theme1:Studies on intracellular symbioses of pest insects


Many insect lineages including agricultural/medical pests have mutually indispensable associations with bacterial symbionts that are localized in specialized cells called bacteriocytes. We are trying to elucidate the molecular mechanisms for developing and maintaining this type of intimate symbioses.

Selected publications and works

Nakabachi A, Piel J, Malenovský I, Hirose Y. (2020) Comparative genomics underlines multiple roles of Profftella, an obligate symbiont of psyllids: providing toxins, vitamins, and carotenoids. Genome Biol Evol 12(11):1975-1987.

Dan H, Ikeda N, Fujikami M, Nakabachi A. (2017) Behavior of bacteriome symbionts during transovarial transmission and development of the Asian citrus psyllid. PLoS One 12(12): e0189779.

Nakabachi A. (2015) Horizontal gene transfers in insects. Curr Opin Insect Sci 7: 24–29.

Nakabachi A, Ishida K, Hongoh Y, Ohkuma M, Miyagishima SY. (2014) Aphid gene of bacterial origin encodes a protein transported to an obligate endosymbiont. Curr Biol 24(14): R640-R641.

Sloan DB, Nakabachi A, Richards S, Qu J, Murali SC, Gibbs RA, Moran NA. (2014) Parallel histories of horizontal gene transfer facilitated extreme reduction of endosymbiont genomes in sap-feeding insects. Mol Biol Evol 31(4): 857-871.

The International Aphid Genomics Consortium. (2010) Genome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. PLoS Biol 8(2): e1000313.

Nikoh N, McCutcheon JP, Kudo T, Miyagishima S, Moran NA, Nakabachi A. (2010) Bacterial genes in the aphid genome: Absence of functional gene transfer from Buchnera to its host. PLoS Genet 6(2): e1000827.

Nakabachi A, Yamashita A, Toh H, Ishikawa H, Dunbar HE, Moran NA, Hattori M. (2006) The 160-kilobase genome of the bacterial endosymbiont Carsonella. Science 314 (5797): 267.

Nakabachi A, Shigenobu S, Sakazume N, Shiraki T, Hayashizaki Y, Carninci P, Ishikawa H, Kudo T, Fukatsu T. (2005) Transcriptome analysis of the aphid bacteriocyte, the symbiotic host cell that harbors an endocellular mutualistic bacterium, Buchnera. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102(15): 5477-82.


bacteriocyte, symbiotic bacteria, pest insects, omics, chemical biology, selective pest control

Theme2:Studies on symbiotic bacteria as genetic resources


Making use of omics technologies, we are also pursuing the possibility of utilizing symbiotic bacteria as genetic resources.

Selected publications and works

Nakabachi A, Fujikami M. (2019) Concentration and distribution of diaphorin, and expression of diaphorin synthesis genes during Asian citrus psyllid development. J Insect Physiol 118:103931.

Nakabachi A, Okamura K. (2019) Diaphorin, a polyketide produced by a bacterial symbiont of the Asian citrus psyllid, kills various human cancer cells. PLoS One 14(6):e0218190.

Nakabachi A, Ueoka R, Oshima K, Teta R, Mangoni A, Gurgui M, Oldham NJ, van Echten-Deckert G, Okamura K, Yamamoto K, Inoue H, Ohkuma M, Hongoh Y, Miyagishima SY, Hattori M, Piel J, Fukatsu T. (2013) Defensive bacteriome symbiont with a drastically reduced genome. Curr Biol 23(15): 1478-84.

Moran NA, McCutcheon JP, Nakabachi A. (2008) Genomics and evolution of heritable bacterial symbionts. Annu Rev Genet 42: 165-90.


genetic resources, drug discovery, secondary metabolites, bioactive substances, antibiotics, anticancer drugs

Theme3:Studies on various agriculture-related symbioses


Agricultural plants have complicated symbiotic relationships with a wide variety of organisms including microbes. We have started some research on this knotty issue.

Selected publications and works

Nakabachi A, Malenovský I, Gjonov I, Hirose Y. (2020) 16S rRNA sequencing detected Profftella, Liberibacter, Wolbachia, and Diplorickettsia from relatives of the Asian citrus psyllid. Microb Ecol 80(2):410-422.

Yamada T, Hamada M, Floreancig P, Nakabachi A. (2019) Diaphorin, a polyketide synthesized by an intracellular symbiont of the Asian citrus psyllid, is potentially harmful for biological control agents. PLoS One 14(5):e0216319.

Nakabachi A, Nikoh N, Oshima K, Inoue H, Ohkuma M, Hongoh Y, Miyagishima SY, Hattori M, Fukatsu T. (2013) Horizontal gene acquisition of Liberibacter plant pathogens from a bacteriome-confined endosymbiont of their psyllid vector. PLoS One 8(12): e82612.


food production, biological interactions, omics, plant physiology, sensor technology

Title of class

Environmental Biotechnology (B14620350)
Advanced Biotechnology 1 (D34030040)
Advanced Technology on Food and Agriculture Science 2 (M24630450)
Topics in Life and Materials Science (S14620430)

Others (Awards, Committees, Board members)

April 2019, Nagase Foundation Award 2019
March 2010, The young scientist award from the Society of Genome Microbiology, Japan

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