Press Release

July 19 , 2013

Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency

The whole genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna has been decoded. The Pacific bluefin tuna can distinguish subtle differences in bluish green colors.

  • The Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) has decoded the whole genome of the Pacific bluefin tuna and has demonstrated that its vision-related genes have evolved, allowing it to distinguish bluish green colors, which other fish might not be capable of doing.

Since FY2009, the Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) has been working on decoding the whole genetic sequence or the base sequence of the entire genome of the Pacific bluefin tuna through collaborations with the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, and the National Institute of Genetics. This groundbreaking endeavor has now been completed, resulting in the genome sequence report on the Pacific bluefin tuna, which is the first report ever to be released on this species in the world.

During the genome analysis of the Pacific bluefin tuna, a peculiar feature was observed in its vision genes, which may be related to their behavior of rapidly swimming in the surface layer of the sea at high speed. The Pacific bluefin tuna can actually distinguish subtle differences in bluish green colors, even in the seawater where the red color is lacking.

This result provides fundamental information on the behavioral characteristics of the Pacific bluefin tuna and may also lead to improvements in tuna aquaculture techniques.


This result has been published online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on June 18.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/06/18/1302051110.full.pdf+htm