Allen Yi-Lun Tsai

Research highlight

Nematodes are small worm-like animals found in many environments in the world. Among them, root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita, Fig. 1) are economically important pathogens that affects many regions of the world, including Kyushu, Japan. These nematodes are plant parasites that infect roots to absorb nutrients from the plant hosts, causing serious agricultural damages (Fig. 2).

It is believed that plant-pathogenic nematodes detect chemicals secreted from plants to find hosts. We are interested in what plant-secreted chemicals affect nematode behaviors, and how nematodes perceive and respond to these chemicals. For example, we have found that nematodes are attracted to certain compounds secreted from the seeds (Fig. 3). Through our research, we hope to develop new strategies to protect crop plants from pathogens.


2013.6: PhD, Department of Cells & Systems Biology, University of Toronto
2013.1 - 2015.3: Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia
2015.4 - 2019.3: Post-doctoral researcher, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University
2019.4 - 2020.10: Special Post-Doctoral Researcher, Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Riken
2020.10 -: Assistant professor, Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University

Contact information

(+81) 096-342-3436

Email: tsai-yilun(at)

2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto, 860-8555 JAPAN
Kurokami South campus
Room C219, Faculty of Science Building 1

PhD., Assistant professor
Plant molecular biology
Department of Molecular Agriculture