Press Release

September 29, 2011

Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency

Identification of effective gene for increasing the productivity of cultured fish
?New varieties of fish with double edible part can now be developed ?

Compared to livestock and poultry, which are intensively bred for high meat productivity and rapid growth, superior varieties of fish are rarely developed. Many varieties of crops have been created by mutation breeding, which involves inducing mutation artificially by using ultraviolet rays, radiation and chemical substances to increase the frequency compared to spontaneous mutation, and thus selecting superior varieties. For the first time in the world, we investigated the use of mutation breeding for creating superior varieties of cultured fish.

The Fisheries Research Agency and Keio University have jointly created mutants of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) artificially, investigated the genes involved in the regulation of muscle mass and found some mutants that had the same mutant gene found in high-productivity meat cattle. The fish had 1.5 to 2.0 times more skeletal muscle (edible part) per body length compared to ordinary medaka. The study showed that various superior fish varieties, such as high meat productivity fish, can be developed by using mutation breeding.

*The results were obtained as part of the study project “Development of TILLING technologies in cultured fish (representative: Yasutoshi Yoshiura),” aimed at promoting basic research for the creation of new technology and new sectors of the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in 2008 and have appeared in the international journal Developmental Biology