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A snailfish modified its DNA for survival in the deep ocean


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A deep-sea fish, Yap hadal snailfish, has evolved a catalogue of adaptations to survive in the crushing depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers found extra copies of genes involved in DNA repair, including eight copies of a gene (rad51).

Some DNA repair genes contained mutations that would alter the proteins they coded for.

Had five copies of a gene called fmo3, which is crucial for making trimethylamine N-oxide - a chemical that stabilises essential proteins.

It has also lost many of the genes that underpin the sense of smell, perhaps because it has a limited diet.

Curiously, it has extra genes for sour taste receptors.

Compared its genome to the Mariana hadal snailfish.

“These two trenches are isolated, and they have different depths and environmental conditions,” - Xinhua Chen, co-author of the study.

It may be that the ancestral snailfish found their way into the two trenches and subsequently evolved independently.

Study by Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University published in PLoS Genetics.

Yap hadal snailfish made extra genes to repair DNA & stay alive in high-pressure deep-sea waters

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Public university for higher education in Agriculture and Forestry in Fujian


Professor at Institute of oceanology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University