Hiroshi Miyanishi

Faculty of Agriculture, University of MiyazakiAssistant Professor*Profile is at the time of the award.

2019Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
Understanding the mechanism of high-salt taste related to migration in fish
Fish live in rivers and seas, whose salt concentration can differ significantly. Migratory fish move between rivers and seas. Mammals exhibit avoidance behavior regarding high-salinity water (seawater). If fish were to swim from a river to the sea but avoided high-salinity seawater, it would be a major hindrance to their migration. To understand environment selection and migratory phenomena related to fish, it is necessary to elucidate their salty taste receptive mechanism, but nothing is currently known about this. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, we put killifish, which can inhabit both fresh water and seawater, in a water tank where they could move between fresh water and seawater to determine their salinity selection. The result was that fresh water killifish selected fresh water, whereas seawater killifish selected seawater. This indicates that killifish perceive the salinity of their environment, which allows them to select one that they have adapted themselves to, and that avoidance of and attraction to high salinity can change based on the environment they are in. For this proposed research, we will undertake a comprehensive analysis of the salt taste receptor in a taste bud using killifish as a model to elucidate their salt taste receptive mechanism by conducting functional analysis of target genes. Furthermore, based on the findings of this analysis, we will examine changes in the migratory taste receptive mechanism of fish to determine the importance of their salt taste receptive mechanism as a trigger for their migration to the sea.

Message from recipient

All the research projects that have been selected for the Inamori Research Grants Program are excellent, and we find it a great joy to be able to work on our research with this grant. We are hoping to find missing pieces of fish physiology and publish findings that make people nod in understanding and agreement.

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Biology & Life sciences