Wada Memorial Award

2019 and 2020 Wada Memorial Award

The 9th Wada Memorial Award plates
The Nineth Wada Memorial Award plate

The JMS has awarded the 9th Wada Award and a commemorative plaque to Dr. Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa, an emeritus professor at the University of Tokyo and a member of the Japan Academy.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Kuroiwa on his award and introduce his achievements here. This Wada Award is for “a number of papers that have contributed to the development of the international cytogenetics journal, Cytologia, in addition to his main paper on the karyotype of Schizon.” The main paper below refers to a study of Cyanidioschyzon merolae, which succeeded in visualizing mitotic chromosomes for the first time, and found that chromosome condensation occurs in the metaphase immediately after chloroplast division. In addition, while comparing the difference in genome size between Medakamo hakoo (8 Mbp) and C. merolae (16.5 Mbp), the evolutionary significance of observing condensed chromosomes in C. merolae was highlighted. This paper was considered extremely suitable for the international journal, Cytologia.

Kuroiwa, T., Yagisawa, Y., Fujiwara, T., Inui, Y., Matsunaga, TM, Katoi, S., Matsunaga, S., Nagata, N., Imoto, Y., and Kuroiwa, H.: Mitotic Karyotype of the Primitive Red Alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae 10D. Cytologia 85 (2), 107–113 (2020)

In addition to the main paper, “a number of papers that have contributed to the development of the international cytogenetics journal, Cytologia” were written by Dr. Kuroiwa based on studies of the body of Crepis capillaris (a species of the genus Crepis) since 1970. There have been 63 other related papers published in the 50 years since the initial paper on the DNA replication of cell chromosomes (Crepis paper). While the publication of these studies has made a large contribution to the development of Cytologia, it was noted that Dr. Kuroiwa additionally served as the Editor-in-Chief of Cytologia for 15 years from 1993 to 2007.

Kuroiwa, T. and Tanaka, N.: DNA Replication Pattern in Somatic Chromosomes of Crepis capillaris. Cytologia 35 (2), 271–279 (1970)

It is expected that this award-winning paper will lead to new possibilities in the karyotype analysis of schizon and further developments in chromosomal research on microalgae, including schizon. Dr. Kuroiwa’s Wada Award lecture has not yet been confirmed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but it will be held as soon as it becomes possible to present a lecture in the large auditorium of the Faculty of Science Building.

The Wada Award Selection Committee (Cytologia Editorial Committee) of the JMS has selected Dr. Kuroiwa as a candidate for the 2019 Wada Award, because 2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the first issue of Cytologia. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first issue of Cytologia, three series of lectures were scheduled, after which Dr. Kuroiwa’s Wada Award ceremony and commemorative lecture were scheduled to be held. However, due to the unprecedented spread of the novel coronavirus infection, all of these events have been postponed. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has not diminished yet, but we hope that Dr. Kuroiwa’s award lecture will be held in 2021.

2018 Wada Memorial Award

The Wada Award Selection Committee established by the JMS unanimously selected Dr. Koichiro Tsunewaki, an emeritus professor at Kyoto University and a member of the Japan Academy, as the 8th Wada Award winner. The following paper, which he contributed to Cytologica, describes the process of obtaining strains in the early days of wheat chromosome research and the subsequent development process. The paper made a historical contribution to the field, with 2018 being a memorable year when the entire genome of bread wheat was determined.

Tsunewaki, K.: Dawn of Modern Wheat Genetics: The story of the Wheat Stocks that Contributed to the Early Stage of Wheat Cytogenetics. Cytologia 83, 351–364 (2018)

The Wada Award Ceremony and Commemorative Lecture were held on March 30, 2019, at the University of Tokyo Hongo Campus, Faculty of Science Building, No. 2 Auditorium, and also represented the Cytologia 90th Anniversary Lecture. Dr. Tsunewaki titled the lecture, “Dawn of Wheat Genetics: The History of Wheat Strains that Contributed to the Dawn of Wheat Cytogenetics.” He indicated that the researchers efforts were at the mercy of World War I and the Russian Revolution. He gave a lecture on how the wheat lineage and wheat genome research, for which he had inherited a passion, led to the current developments. The lecture was magnificent, befitting the traditional architectural style of the Gothic building, and it was apparent that the tranquil venue contributed to the relaxed experience of all attendees.

Dr. Tsunewaki's lecture The Eighth Wada Memorial Award plate

2017 Wada Memorial Award

The Wada Award Selection Committee of the JMS decided to award the 7th Wada Award to Professor Tomohiro Yanagi of Kagawa University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Applied Biological Sciences, after a strict examination. The award was given for the following paper, which recognized a series of strawberry chromosome studies. The award ceremony is scheduled for June. The award ceremony will be held at the Board of Trustees of the JMS.

Tantivit, K., Isobe, S., Nathewet, P., Okuda, N. and Yanagi, T.: The Development of a Primed In Situ Hybridization Technique for Chromosome Labeling in Cultivated Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa). Cytologia 81: 439–446, 2016.

2016 Wada Memorial Award

The 6th Wada Award was awarded to Professor Masoud Sheidai of Shahid Beheshti University in Iran. His many years of research on the diversity of plant chromosomes, especially in Iran, were recognized. The following is a typical Cytologia paper.

Sheidai, M., Jafari, S., Taleban, P., and Keshavarzi, M.: Cytomixis and Unreduced Pollen Grain Formation in Alopecurus L. and Catbrosa Beauv (Poaceae). Cytologia 74, 31–41, 2009.

2015 Wada Memorial Award

The 5th Wada Award was adjudicated by Dr. Yumiko Suto of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences. In the following paper, published in Cytologia in 2011, the authors also succeeded in taking micrographs (Gold in situ hybridization: GISH) of chromosomes, which were described as unique and artistic.

Suto, Y., Akiyama, M., Sugiura, N and Hirai, M.: Technical note: Multiplex Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Visualizes a Wide Range of Numerical and Structural Chromosome Changes Induced in Cultured Human Lymphocytes by Ionizing Radiation. Cytologia 76, 373 –374, 2011.

Also, in the following Cytologia paper in 2012, remarkable progress in the research method was reported.

Suto, Y., Hirai, M., Akiyama, M., Suzuki, T., Sugiura, N.: Sensitive and Rapid Detection of Centromeric Alphoid DNA in Human Metaphase Chromosomes by PNA Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization and Its Application to Biological Radiation Dosimetry. Cytologia 77, 261–267, 2012.

The Wada Award is presented for the purpose of “supporting researchers in Asian, African, and Latin American countries and for research rooted in the region as much as possible,” but it also awarded to Japanese researchers, such as Dr. Suto, for particularly excellent papers. The author acknowledged that his contribution to Cytologia was large, and the paper published in 2013 also led to a high number of citations for Cytologia. Dr. Suto can be expected to play an even more active role in the future.

Suto, Y., Akiyama, M., Gotoh, T., Hirai, M.: A Modified Protocol for Accurate Detection of Cell Fusion-Mediated Premature Chromosome Condensation in Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes. Cytologia 78, 97-103, 2013.

This was the first Japanese award in the 5 years since the Wada Award was founded, with the high quality of the paper setting a good standard for subsequent papers submitted to Cytologia.

2014 Wada Memorial Award

The third and the fourth Wada Memorial Award plates
The third and the fourth Wada Memorial Award plates

The fourth winner of the Wada Memorial Award is Professor Raghbir Chand Gupta of Punjabi University in India. The outstanding contribution of him and his coworkers is the exploration of intra-specific cyto-morphological diversity in Agrimonia eupatoria L. (Rosaceae) from the Western Himalayas in India. A perusal of worldwide cytological literature in Agrimonia indicates that all the species have been cytologically worked out, showing that cytotypes with 2n=28 and 2n=56 are common. The diploid cytotype is primarily concentrated in the Western countries, covering most of Europe. In the far eastern side of the world, i.e. in Japan, only tetraploid cytotypes have been reported. However, in the middle part of Eurasia, i.e. Russia, both diploid and tetraploid cytotypes co-exist. Gupta and coworkers showed that the Western Himalayas of India show rich intra-population and intra-cytotype variability of this genus. We would like to award his long-term contribution to chromosome research and his efforts towards a fertile world, exemplified by the following article on Indian vegetation and their fruitfulness.

Kumar, S., Jeelani, S. M., Rani, S., Kumari, S. and Gupta, R. C. 2011. Exploration of Intraspecific Cytomorphological Diversity in Agrimonia eupatoria L. (Rosaceae) from Western Himalayas, India. Cytologia 76: 81-88.

2013 Wada Memorial Award

The third winner of the Wada Memorial Award is Professor Vijay Kumar Singhal of Punjabi University in India. His outstanding contribution is the discovery that cytomixis involving chromatin transfer seems to be directly responsible for causing meiotic abnormalities, pollen sterility and heterogeneous-sized apparently fertile pollen grains in Clematis montana. The large-sized pollen grains, formed relatively infrequently in the species, are almost double the size of normal-sized pollen grains and appear to be of 2n constitution and of unreduced nature. Such pollen grains may be the origin of polyploid cytotypes in the species as has been reported in Chrysanthemum, Alopecurus and Catbrosa. Cytomixis on meiotic course resulting in pollen sterility, 2n and variable-sized pollen grains has also been reported in a number of cases by Singhal and his coworkers as well as by other researchers. The following article by Singhal and his coworkers is the most frequently cited article of Cytologia over the last five years (2010-2014).

Singhal, V. K., Kaur, S. and Kumar, P. 2010. Aberrant Male Meiosis, Pollen Sterility and Variable Sized Pollen Grains in Clematis montana Buch.-Ham. ex DC. from Dalhousie hills, Himachal Pradesh. Cytologia 75: 31-36.

2012 Wada Memorial Award

The first and the second Wada Memorial Award plates
The first and the second Wada Memorial Award plates

The second winner of the Wada Memorial Award is Dr. Alongklod Tanomtong from Thailand. His outstanding contributions to the chromosome characterization of primates and wild cats, alongside other organisms which are native to Thailand, are acknowledged as being of particular significance, as many of his research subjects are endangered organisms. In this era of biodiversity under threat, the importance of such papers should be particularly noted. In view of this, the Committee has selected Dr. Tanomtong as a deserving recipient, and will invite him to contribute an article to this journal covering these topics.

2011 Wada Memorial Award

It is our utmost pleasure to announce Dr. Sheikh Shamimul Alam from Bangladesh as the first winner of the Wada Memorial Award. The Wada Award Committee recognizes and appreciates his continuous efforts to explore the molecular and cytological aspects of plants native to Bangladesh and to publish them in this journal. The Committee has selected Dr. Alam for the award as a sign of its gratitude to his dedication to the field, and would like to invite him to write an article outlining his research activities.

About Wada Memorial Award

Aim: This Award has been created to encourage the submission of high quality papers to Cytologia. The Selection Committee of the Wada Award Committee will, on an annual basis, select papers considered to be worthy of the award, based on the significance and frequency of citation of the respective papers. The author(s) of the paper will be named as recipient(s) of the Wada Memorial Award; their names will be announced in the journal.

History: Cytologia was founded in 1929 by the late Professor Kenjiro Fujii of the University of Tokyo, the first teaching chair of genetics in Japan. Since then, the journal has been published without interruption, even during the Second World War and the hard times that followed. Since its inception, Cytologia has been supported financially, in part, by the Wada Kunkokai Foundation. In recognition of this contribution, we have established the Wada Memorial Award to commemorate the late Bungo Wada, professor of the University of Tokyo, co-founder of this journal, and former Representative of the Wada Kunkokai Foundation.

Eligibility: All papers, including review articles and invited papers, published in Cytologia during the preceding fiscal year will be eligible for the Award.

Selection Procedure: The selection of papers for the Wada Memorial Award will be conducted by the Wada Award Committee in June of each respective year.