The Tropical Biosphere Research Center (TBRC) is a research institute of University of the Ryukyus located in subtropical climate zone. Faculty members of TBRC are conducting biological researches on the tropical and subtropical environment. The researches are mainly focused on the mechanism of establishment and maintenance of biological diversity, the survival strategies of living organisms, and the dynamic interactions of symbiotic or infectious microbes with hosts. Applied researches on food and health in subtropical area is also carried out in TBRC. These research activities covers all four Key Words of the University of the Ryukyus: Islands, Marine, Subtropical Climate, and Health and Longevity.
TBRC has been approved to be a Joint Usage/Research Center (JURC) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. As the only JURC in the subtropical climate zone, TBRC provides opportunities to study subtropical organisms and ecosystems for both domestic and international researchers. TBRC has great access to resources of the insular environments of the Ryukyu Archipelago with high endemism that have been developed in humid subtropical climate under complex geographical history, which includes coral reefs and mangrove forests with high biodiversity. Sesoko and Iriomote Stations of TBRC are located right next to coral reefs and mangrove forests, respectively, and are equipped with dormitories and laboratories available for the field researchers.
Establishment of interdisciplinary research area of field research and molecular biology is another important goal of TBRC. Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB) and Nishihara Station of TBRC in Senbaru Campus are important role in the issue. At present, genome sequencing of tropical field-derived samples becomes standard analyses in recent years. To further improve co-operation between the Stations, teleconference system is actively used to exchange information.
TBRC continues to be the center of biological researches in University of the Ryukyus, and reinforce the function as JURC.