News & Topics

Eradicating invasive alien species without chemicals: apple snails are captured by electrotaxis and terminated by ultrasonic waves
Research from the Top 10 Agricultural Technology News in 2019

A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-driven R&D)

Research of Associate Professor Yagyu Yoshihito of the National Institute of Technology, Sasebo College is featured in Top10 Agricultural Technology News in 2019 having been selected for this honor by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council. His research, which focuses on the prevention and elimination of apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata) has received two grants from JST A-STEP.

A large freshwater gastropod, commonly known as the apple snail, was introduced to Japan for human consumption in early 1980s. Since that time, the species has taken up residence in the wild, where it has caused extensive damage to rice plants, lotus roots, and etc. mainly within the Kanto region and areas further south. The species is also listed among the top 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.

Dr. Yagyu discovered that the apple snails migrate in response to an applied electric field, a property known as electrotaxis. He could capture the snails efficiently and kill them with a short exposure to ultrasonic wave radiation. Dr. Yagyu’s research has attracted significant public attention and was featured by various media outlets, including the Mainichi Newspapers, the Japan Agricultural News, National Agricultural News, and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Nagasaki Branch.

Link to the project page: (Japanese)

  • Assistant Professor Yagyu

    Assistant Professor Yagyu

  • Observation site/After 24 hours
  • Normal condition
  • Reaction to the electrical stimuli