Wellcome Sanger Institute
Sanger Institute Science Collaboration

Antarctic Notothenioids fish genomes project

The Notothenioids are a group of Percomorph fish and constitute one of the best characterized marine radiations. Notothenioids consist of over 130 species, and are the dominant fish group inhabiting Southern Ocean waters. Diversification events are linked to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which led to a drop of the water temperature. Notothenioids are cold water specialists which have developed Antifreeze glycoproteins to avoid freezing. Additionally, derived species of the Channichthyidae or icefish are lacking functional erythrocytes, making them the only vertebrate without blood.

At the Sanger Institute we are generating genome assemblies for 24 species across the Notothenioid radiation. We are generating 1 reference chromosome assigned assembly for Cottoperca gobio (channel bull blenny), and 4 reference assemblies for species Trematomus bernachii, Harpagifer antarcticus, Gymnodraco acuticeps, and Pseudochaenichtys georgianus. Also, we are also generating draft reference assemblies (10X Chromium) assemblies for 20 more species. As part of the project we are also generating transcriptome data and annotations.


Data usage:

Sanger people

Photo of Dr Richard Durbin

Dr Richard Durbin

Associate Faculty

Photo of Eric Miska

Eric Miska

Associate Faculty/Group Leader

Photo of Dr Iliana Bista, PhD

Dr Iliana Bista, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

External Contributors

Photo of Melody Clark

Melody Clark

Genetics Leader, British Antarctic Survey

Photo of Chi -Hing Christina Cheng

Chi -Hing Christina Cheng

School of Integrative, Biology University of Illinois

External partners and funders


John Postlethwait group

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon


William Detrich group

Northeastern University, College of Science

Professor Marine and Environmental Sciences, Marine Science Center


Walter Salzburger group

University of Basel