Russian Scientists Continue Biochemical Studies of Deep-sea Species in Atlantic

The experts of Karelia’s Scientific Center’s Biology Institute, backed by the Russian president’s grant for young scientists, will study and research biochemical and other features of deep-sea fish and invertebrate species, living in the Atlantic Ocean’s north-eastern part (near Greenland). They will make a thorough analysis on how the organisms react to the Arctic environment, the Scientific Center’s head of the ecology biochemistry laboratory Svetlana Murzina said, Tass informed.

“Those species are important in terms of ecology, because they transfer substances and energy from the upper water layers towards the deeper layers, and in the current climate changes this aspect becomes specifically important,” she said. “We do not have enough knowledge, while it is very important to understand how to react to what may happen in the climate change from the point of view of biochemistry, since we study ecology-biochemical adaptation of those species. The main focus will be on lipids and fatty acids.”

The grant, which amounts to 2 million rubles ($27,000) is allocated for two years of the studies, which will involve four experts. They will analyze fish and invertebrates from the depths of between 250 and 1,000 meters, like, i.e, sea bass, or lampanyctus macdonaldi (lanternfish), lophius piscatorius (angler eels). According to the expert, the scientists will analyze how the organisms manage to survive successfully in the Arctic lipid-dependent system, which is characterized by low temperatures, which has light specifics and limited food supply, as well as what processes featuring lipids and fatty acids continue there.

“Those fish look absolutely different, they have absolutely different cycles and trophic (feed) specifics. For example, sea bass is viviparous, its life cycle has a concept of migration: during the day it can migrate along the horizons from 250 to 1,000 meters deep, “running away” from unfavorable factors, and lipids here take an active part in all adaptive mechanisms to ensure movement through the water column. It is difficult to imagine all this in our heads. Remember Jacques-Yves Cousteau and many other movies: how gradual and accurate such manipulations with humans must be,” she continued.