Project Information
Evolution of hemoglobin genes in notothenioid fishes
Start Date:
End Date:
Antarctic notothenioid fishes, also known as cryonotothenioids, inhabit the icy and highly oxygenated waters surrounding the Antarctic continent after diverging from notothenioids inhabiting more temperate waters. Notothenioid hemoglobin and blood parameters are known to have evolved along with the establishment of stable polar conditions, and among Antarctic notothenioids, icefishes are evolutionary oddities living without hemoglobin following the deletion of all functional hemoglobin genes from their genomes. In this project, we investigate the evolution of hemoglobin genes and gene clusters across the notothenioid radiation until their loss in the icefish ancestor after its divergence from the dragonfish lineage to understand the forces, mechanisms, and potential causes for hemoglobin gene loss in the icefish ancestor.
Person Role
Desvignes, Thomas Investigator and contact
Postlethwait, John Co-Investigator
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 2232891
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1947040
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1543383
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
4 (model output and interpretations)
  1. Thomas Desvignes, Iliana Bista, Karina Herrera, Audrey Landes, John H Postlethwait, Cold-driven hemoglobin evolution in Antarctic notothenioid fishes prior to hemoglobin gene loss in white-blooded icefishes, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2023; msad236 (doi:
  2. Desvignes, T., Le Fran├žois, N. R., Streeter, M., Grondin, J., Singer, E., Postlethwait, J. H., & Detrich, H. W. (2024). Hybridization barriers between the congeneric antarctic notothenioid fish Notothenia coriiceps and Notothenia rossii. Polar Biology. (doi:10.1007/s00300-023-03216-7)

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