Deep-sea Fish Omics

The biodiversity of the deep-sea, which includes ambush-predators like dragonfish and viperfish, is fascinating; in partnership with Portland State University, Center for Life in Extreme Environments, our research focus is the metagenomics and transcriptomics of deep-sea fish who spend 50% of their lives at great depths and low oxygen conditions; these fish rely on adaptive phenotypes that enable them to thrive in high-pressure, low oxygen, dark marine strata. We study anatomy, physiology, and genotype-phenotype correlations of several deep-sea fish species and explore host-microbial relationships by sequencing metagenomes of several fish tissues. The metagenomic composition of these fish, including dragonfish and viperfish, may influence how individuals and populations adapt and cope with environmental stress and evolve to live in places only a few organisms on the planet can sustain. This research is important in part because understanding the mechanisms behind survival and gene expression regulation governing adaptation phenotypes in oxygen-limited environment will provide critical insight for future, less well-oxygenated oceans.

*For more about this project, contact


Zuying Feng

Goran Bozinovic


Annie Lindgren

Annie Lindgren, Ph.D., Interim Associate Vice President for Research, Research and Graduate Studies, Portland State University