Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Life Sciences

Understanding the Mechanism of Fish Egg Formation and Applying Research

Improvement of aquaculture technology, development of ecological and environmental research technology

The growth of fish larvae mainly depends on the substances accumulated in the eggs. Therefore, the synthesis and accumulation of egg constituents are important processes that affect egg quality. We are studying the details of this process and its control mechanism (egg formation system). We are also conducting applied research using this system.

Content of research

Fish eggs grow rapidly while storing various substances such as proteins, lipids, sugars, vitamins and hormones as yolk in their cells. These yolk substances are important nutrient sources that affect the quality of the hatchlings. In addition, the growth of eggs is a process in which various biological molecules, including genes, proteins and hormones, closely work together. This process varies by fish species and environmental factors such as light and water temperature affect the profile of these internal factors and regulate the egg growth. We are conducting detailed comparative analysis of the egg formation process in a wide variety of fish using life science techniques (immunobiochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, etc.). Based on this basic research, we are also conducting applied research such as the monitoring of environmental hormone pollution, the development of a fish egg species identification method and the development of a simple fish sex identification method.

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Determination of sex and maturity of fish
  • ・Artificial maturation of fish
  • ・Species identification of fish eggs and fry
  • ・Investigation of estrogen-like environmental hormones

Appealing points to industry and local governments

As our understanding of the mechanism of egg formation in fish has increased, it is now possible to apply this mechanism to contribute to technological development in a wide range of fields, such as the improvement of aquaculture techniques for useful marine species and the development of ecological and environmental research techniques. We hope to conduct joint research with companies that are conducting research and development using fish and fish eggs.