Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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Yuichiro Hiraizumi was born in Odate, Akita-Ken, Japan on April 10, 1927, the son of Sue and Katsuro Hiraizumi. He died in Austin on January 27, 2003. The path between these distant cities was traveled by a person of extraordinary intelligence, determination, and accomplishment. As a child, he contracted poliomyelitis, which left him unable to walk normally. This presented a problem when it became time to enroll in a university. At that time, Japanese universities required that students be physically fit, a requirement that was tested by completing a foot race within a specified time. This was a large challenge for Yuichiro. Although he failed to qualify several times, eventually his determination won out, and he was admitted, completing a bachelor of science degree at Hokkaido University (Sopporo) in 1952.
Following his B.S. degree, he entered the graduate program in genetics at Hokkaido, where he studied for four years. Three papers in plant genetics were published from this period. In 1956, he moved to the University of Wisconsin (Madison) to continue work toward a doctorate with James Crow. The original problem was a study of the fitness of chromosomes extracted from a wild population of Drosophila melanogaster. Within a few months, he had discovered a remarkable phenomenon, a gene that is not transmitted in Mendelian proportions. Fortunately, Larry Sandler came to Wisconsin the next year as a postdoctoral fellow, and the two of them became a remarkably productive team. Since the 1900 rediscovery of Mendel’s work, it has been common knowledge that, in eukaryotes (including humans and fruit flies), genes on a pair of homologous chromosomes are distributed equally and randomly into germ cells. If the germ cells from two parents combine at random, the familiar Mendelian ratios are observed in the absence of differential survival of the various gene combinations. The process of separation of homologous genes during germ cell formation is called segregation. Hiraizumi and Sandler demonstrated that the aberrant transmission, which they called segregation distortion, or meiotic drive, occurs in the formation of germ cells. This heretical finding was reported in detail in a series of nine papers in major journals in 1959-1961 and became a major research topic in other laboratories in the years following. Variant segregation also became a major theme of Hiraizumi’s later research, whether due to meiotic drive or to other mechanisms.
In 1960, Hiraizumi's Wisconsin research qualified him for the degree of doctor of science from Osaka University (Japan), a degree based on research accomplishments. That year he joined the staff of the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Japan, one of the outstanding centers for genetic research in the world. There he worked on Drosophila, on Trillium (which he had studied earlier), and on segregation of various genes in humans, particularly the ABO blood groups. In 1965, he was a visiting associate professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, becoming a permanent faculty member in 1966. In 1967 while visiting Wisconsin he showed (with Hartl and Crow) that segregation distortion was due to nonfunctional sperm. In 1969 he moved to the Department of Zoology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he remained for the remainder of his professional life. This included promotion to professor in 1971. In 1987 he was named the T. S. Painter Centennial Professor of Genetics, and, at the time of his retirement in 1996, he was awarded the title of T. S. Painter Professor Emeritus.
A full description of Hiraizumi’s research would be difficult to write and more so to read. He tackled experimentally demanding problems that required skilled analysis and meticulous attention to observational details. This combination of talents led to another unanticipated and significant discovery: recombination in Drosophila males. Although crossing over in males is the normal pattern for most species, it does not occur in Drosophila. Hiraizumi demonstrated, however, that it does occur as a rare event. Furthermore, he found a wild strain in South Texas in which it occurs with high frequency. With his customary sense of humor, he named the strain T-007, this at a time of great popularity of James Bond. The discovery that, under certain conditions, recombination can occur in Drosophila males was the beginning of studies relating this observation to the so-called P-M hybrid dysgenesis system involving the transposable element P. An account of some of Hiraizumi’s many contributions was published on the fortieth anniversary of the discovery of segregation distortion (B. Ganetsky, “Yuichiro Hiraizumi and Forty Years of Segregation Distortion,” Genetics, v. 152, pp. 1-4, 1999.)
A measure of the great respect in which Hiraizumi was regarded is his history of external grant support. When he came to UT Austin, he applied for and received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his studies of genetic segregation. Such applications are reviewed rigorously by peers from other institutions. His initial grant for three years was renewed, eventually becoming five-year grants, which continued under the same title until his retirement.
Hiraizumi was an outstanding teacher as well as a research investigator. Although his accent may have been an initial challenge to native Texans with modest exposure to Japanese, his undergraduate students soon realized his strong commitment to help them learn the sometimes confusing topic of genetics. He was always available to help them understand whatever problem presented a challenge. His effectiveness as a teacher for undergraduate students was recognized in 1986 with a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. He was also an excellent mentor for graduate students, having supervised seven Ph.D. and five M.A. degrees during his career.
Hiraizumi was a good colleague and citizen. He did his share of departmental and committee work, always with the thoroughness that characterized his other activities. In several instances, he became an unofficial mentor for graduate students who needed assistance with their research. He was generous in providing stocks, materials, and other support for undergraduate laboratories for which he had no formal responsibility.
Yuichiro and his wife, Mitsuko, had a son, Kazuo, and a daughter, Midori. Yuichiro’s favorite form of relaxation was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico with his family. He added to that the performance of magic tricks for his children and later for his grandchildren, an activity in which he apparently was rather adept. Mitsuko was a talented artist who enjoyed introducing westerners to the cultural traditions of Japan. She preceded Yuichiro in death in 1993.
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors H. Eldon Sutton (chair), James J. Bull, Hugh S. Forrest, and James F. Crow.
Publications of Yuichiro Hiraizumi
1955 Cucurbita – cross. VI. Relationship between pollen ages and the optimum conditions (saccharose concentrations and pH values) of the artificial media. Jap. Jour. Breeding 5:51-59. (with H. Hayase)
1956 Evolution and variation in Trillium. 1. Random genetic drift in natural populations of Trillium kampschaticum PALL. Jap. Jour. Genetics 31:33-48.
Cucurbita – cross. X. The osmotic pressure of different parts of pistil during the period from the morning of the day before anthesis to the afternoon of flowering day. Jap. Jour. Breeding 6:15-18. (with H. Hayase)
1958 Studies on competition in plants and animals: in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolution 12:93-101. (with K. Sakai, T. Narise, and S. Iyama)
1959 Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. II. Genetic variation at the Segregation-Distorter locus. Proc. Nat’l Acad. Sci. U. S. 45:1412-1422. (with L. Sandler)
Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. I. The cytogenetic basis of Segregation-Distortion. Genetics 44:233-250. (with L. Sandler and I. Sandler)
1960 Heterozygous effects on viability, fertility, rate of development, and longevity of Drosophila chromosomes that are lethal when homozygous. Genetics 45:1071-1-83. (with J. F. Crow).
Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. III. Populational implications of the Segregation-Distorter locus. Evolution 14:433-444. (with L. Sandler and J. F. Crow)
Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. V. On the nature of the SD region. Genetics 45:1671-1689. (with L. Sandler)
Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. IV. Instability at the Segregation-Distorter locus. Genetics 45:1269-1287. (with L. Sandler)
Effect of enhancers of SD on the non-distorting sons of SD females. DIS 34:85-86. (with L. Sandler)
Evolution and variation in Trillium. VI. Migrations among natural populations of Trillium kamtschaticum across the Ishikari depression. Evolution 14:224-231. (with I. Fukuda, T. Narise and M. Kurabayashi)
1961 Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. VII. Conditional segregation-distortion: A possible nonallelic conversion. Genetics 46:585-604. (with L. Sandler)
Meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. VIII. A heritable aging effect on the phenomenon of segregation-distortion. Canad. J. Genet. Cytol. 3:34-46. (with L. Sandler)
Negative correlation between rate of development and female fertility in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 46:615-624.
Heterotic viability in natural populations of Trillium kamtschaticum PALL. Jap. Jour. Genet. 36:413-418. (with T. Natise and I. Kukuda)
1961 Selection in P blood group in man: A probable case of prezygotic selection operating in both sexes. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 12.
Lethality and low viability induced by the segregation-distorter locus (symbol SD) in Drosophila melanogaster. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 12.
1962 Distorted segregation and genetic load. Jap. Jour. Genetics 37:147-154
Effect of radiation-induced mutations on fitness of Drosophila melanogaster. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 13.
Prezygotic selection in ABO blood groups. Science 135:432-434. (with E. Matsunaga).
Studies on selection in ABO blood groups. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 13. (with E. Matsunaga, T. Furusho, and H. Izumiyama)
Meiotic drive. Science 137:861-862. (with E. Novitski and E. Matsunaga)
1963 Distorted segregation ratio in female fertility of Drosophila melanogaster (preliminary report). Jap. Jour. Genetics 38:182. (with K. Nakazima).
A drive element, Normatic Hunter (NH), in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 14. (with K. Nakazima)
Assumptions in test of meiotic drive. Science 139:405-407. (with T. E. Reed)
1964 Are the MN blood groups maintained by heterosis? Amer. Jour. Human Genetics 16:375-379.
Prezygotic selection as a factor in the maintenance of variability. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 29:51-60.
Effect of ABO-incompatibility on “waiting time.” Ann Rep National Inst.Genet. 15:153-154.
Search for selection upon secretor status of ABO blood group substances. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 15. (with E. Matsunaga and T. Furusho)
Effects of x-ray induced mutations on several components of fitness. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 15.
1965 SD in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster in Japan. DIS 40:72. (with K. Nakazima)
Suppressive system of SD in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster in Japan. Ann. Rep. National Inst. Genet. 16. (with K. Kataoka)
1967 Deviant sex ratio associated with segregation-distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 55:681-697. (with K. Nakazima)
Evidence for sperm dysfunction as the mechanism of segregation distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S. 58:2240-2245. (with D. Hartl and James F. Crow)
1968 Evidence for normal chromosome disjunction from segregation distorter males. DIS 43. (with D. L. Hartl)
1969 Sex chromosome dependent segregation frequency in Drosophila melanogaster. Jap. J. Genetics 44:41-45. (with R. Sakai)
Non-random assortment in SD heterozygous XYY males of Drosophila melanogaster. Jap. J. Genetics 44:97-103.
Paternal age and segregation frequency in Drosophila melanogaster. Jap. J. Genetics 44 (Suppl. 1): 193-199. (with J. S. Grove)
Aging effect on the phenomenon of Segregation Distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 63:121-131. (with S. S. Watanabe)
1971 Spontaneous recombination in Drosophila melanogaster males. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S. 68:268-270.
1973 Recombination in Drosophila melanogaster males. Genetics 73:439-444. (with B. Slatko, C. Langley, and A. Nill)
Birth-order dependent segregation frequency in the ABO blood groups of man. Amer. J. Human Genet. 25:277-286. (with C. T. Spradlin, R. Ito, and S. A. Anderson)
Frequency of prenatal death and its relationship to the ABO blood groups in man. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 25:362-371. (with C. T. Spradlin, R. Ito, and S. A. Anderson)
Mutation induction in the male recombination strains of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 75:643-649.
1975 Elements causing male crossing over in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 81:313-324. (with B. Slatko)
1976 Segregation Distortion. In The Genetics and Biology of Drosophila, Vol. 1b:616-666 (with D. Hartl).
1977 The relationships among transmission frequency, male recombination and progeny production in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 87:83-93.
1978 An analysis of male-recombination elements in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster in south Texas. Genetics 88:81-91. (with K. A. Matthews)
A consideration of the negative correlation between transmission ratio and recombination frequency in a male recombination system of Drosophila melanogaster. Jap. J. Genet. 53:12-25. (with K. A. Matthews, B. E. Slatko and D. W. Martin)
1979 A new method to distinguish between meiotic and premeiotic recombinational events in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 92:543-554.
A model of the negative correlation between male recombination and transmission frequency in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 93:449-459.
1979 On the models of segregation distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 93:423-435. (with D. W. Martin)
1980 A modified model of segregation distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 95:693-706. (with D. W. Martin and I. A. Eckstrand)
1981 Heterochromatic recombination in germ cells of Drosophila melanogaster females. Genetics 98:105-114.
Gametic frequency of second chromosomes of the T-007 type in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster in Texas. Genetics 98:303-316. (with M. V. Gerstenberg)
1983 A two-generation study of human sex-ratio variation. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 35:951-961. (with J. W. Curtsinger and R. Ito)
1984 Interaction in transmission frequency between the second and the third chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 106:669-677.
Suppressor systems of Segregation Distorter (SD) chromosomes in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 106:279-292. (with A. M. Thomas)
1985 Genetics of factors affecting the life history of Drosophila melanogaster. I. Female productivity. Genetics 110:453-464.
1989 A possible case of negative segregation distortion in the SD system of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 121:263-271.
1990 Negative segregation distortion in the SD system of Drosophila melanogaster: A challenge to the concept of differential sensitivity of Rsp alleles. Genetics 125:515-525.
Selection at the ABO locus in the Japanese population. Jap. J. Genet. 65:95-108.
1991 Segregation distorter (SD) in Drosophila melanogaster: Genetics and molecular analyses. Amer. Naturalist 137:287-331. (with R. G. Temin, B. Genetzky, P. A. Powers, T. W. Lyttle, S. Pimpinelli, and C. I. Wu)
1993 Temperature sensitivity of negative segregation distortion in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 135:831-841.
1994 X-linked elements associated with negative segregation distortion in the SD system of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 138:145-152. (with J. M. Albracht and B. C. Albracht)