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Ryukoku University Harnesses eDNA to Map Fish Ecosystems with a Single Cup of Water

Ryukoku University is set to apply its environmental DNA analysis technology to help conserve and sustainably use the aquatic resources in Japan's rivers.



Associate Professor Hiroki Yamanaka of Ryukoku University (left) and Narihiro Nishimura, CEO of FISHPASS partner on developing an app, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. (©Sankei by Yoshifuru Ogino)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - Ryukoku University Harnesses eDNA to Map Fish Ecosystems with a Single Cup of Water

River environments nationwide are facing deterioration. Ryukoku University has teamed up with FISHPASS, a startup launched by the University of Fukui, to develop an app that maps fish species. Using environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis, the app can identify species inhabiting rivers. The goal is to promote the fisheries industry while preserving biodiversity based on identification and awareness of aquatic resources.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) Analysis

FISHPASS has developed and operates an app that digitally issues the fishing permits and licenses necessary for fishing activities. Rivers across Japan are facing degradation as the population of fishing cooperative members is aging. Now, the company has turned to Ryukoku University for its expertise in eDNA analysis. 

Ryukoku University
Associate Professor Hiroki Yamanaka of Ryukoku University shows how fish inhabiting rivers can be identified from just one cup of water, February 6, 2024, in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward. (©Sankei by Yoshifuru Ogino)

Environmental DNA refers to trace amounts of DNA found in excrement and shed scales floating in the air or water. By analyzing eDNA from river water samples collected in cups, researchers can comprehensively identify the species present in that location. 

Associate Professor Hiroki Yamanaka of Ryukoku University's Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology conducts pioneering research in environmental DNA analysis ahead of the global curve.

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to learn more about how eDNA analysis can contribute to maintaining healthy water ecosystems around Japan.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our affiliated website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Yoshifuru Ogino


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