Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.43

Joint research on microbiology for Myanmar's fishery and marine science development

Report from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

A total of three students, two faculty members (University of Yangon, Mawlamyine University) and one researcher (Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Irrigation & Fisheries), from Myanmar in Southeast Asia were invited to Japan, and “Joint research on microbiology with the youth of Myanmar for the development of Myanmar's fishery and marine science development” was conducted, from November 27 to December 7, 2017. This is a multi-year program (Joint Research Activity Course) that goes for 3 years starting in 2017, this time it is the 1st implementation.

This program, is intended to contribute from the perspective of microbiology and its training, for the young researchers in fisheries science and oceanography in Myanmar, based on the international exchange agreement formulated until now by the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology with the University and Government agencies of Myanmar

The participants, arrived at Haneda Airport late at night, and received orientation at the Shinagawa Campus of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology during the next morning. They did not show any tiredness, and immediately started to work on the microbiology experiments from the afternoon. They started the culture of microorganisms, while learning the preparation of agar medium using autoclave, sterile operation, etc. After culturing for a few days, they made the streaks from the colonies on the agar medium and made a pure separation.

image1 Preparing the medium for microbial culture
image2 Making the streaks from colonies on agar medium

They extracted the DNA from the microbial broth, measured the extracted DNA concentration, and then amplified the 16S rRNA gene by PCR, to identify the microbial species based on DNA analysis. Subsequently, they confirmed the amplification products by agarose gel electrophoresis, and purified the confirmed amplification products. They then performed cycle sequencing reaction and analyzed the base sequence using a DNA sequencer. They identified the microbial species from the database, based on the base sequence data of the analyzed 16S rRNA gene. Further, they learned the basic operations in microbial experiments, such as microscopic observation by staining the microorganisms.

image3 Preparation for gene amplification by PCR
image4 Confirmation of amplification products by electrophoresis

image5 Making microscopic observations

They visited the Museum of Marine Science of this University (Museum of Fishery Sciences), Research Practice Ship Seiyo-Maru, experimental equipment related to marine biological experiments, and also the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, in addition to engaging in experiments.

image6 Tour of research practice ship Seiyo-Maru
image7 Tour of experimental equipment related to marine biological experiments

image8 Tour of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

Through this program, the participants were able to deepen their understanding of the knowledge and techniques of microbiology, and also took interest in the latest science and technology of Japan, including fisheries and marine science. Myanmar is the leading fisheries and ocean country in Southeast Asia having a coastline of about 2,000 km. It is expected that this program, as a starting point, will help to develop human resources bridging the exchange between Japan and Myanmar in fisheries and ocean science research, towards the development of fisheries and ocean science in Myanmar.

Finally, they would like to thank the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science and all the people concerned for providing an opportunity for this program.