Evolution of hemoglobin genes in notothenioid fishes
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.
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