Let me introduce to you our company of Leptoclinus fans: Stig Falk-Petersen (Akvaplan-niva and University of Tromsø, Norway), Svetlana Murzina and Nina Nemova (Institute of biology, Karelian research Centre RAS, Petrozavodsk, Russia), Camilla Ottesen (University of Tromsø), Jorgen Berge (University of Tromsø and UNIS). What is it about this small and tiny fish, Leptoclinus? Leptoclinus maculatus or daubed shanny is an ecologically important fish in the Arctic, with a complex and unique life cycle. Larvae are pelagic for may years and adults are bottom inhabitants. This fish has a serious program of adaptation to live in the Arctic. Larvae fed on Calanus spp. and convert (to be small and tender!!!) fats of one structure to beneficial fats of another structure, that is necessary for development and buoyancy, and concentrate the lipids (fats) in the special part of their body, the lipid sac. The lipid sac is, simply visible by eyes, situated on the belly of small fishes, and looked like a “honey comb” (according Morgan Bender, UoT) or a bunch of grapes.
After one year break of field activity and serious work in the lab, analysing daubed shanny ecology and biochemistry … but with inexhaustible interest to this fish we came back on the cruise to investigate the life strategy and lipid biochemistry of this tiny fish with thirst to get more fun. The break from the field sampling was successful for our international team of fans of Leptoclinus, we published three papers in scientific journals like, Fish physiology and biochemistry, Polar biology and Journal of molecular sciences. New finding in the understanding of the fish reproduction, adaptation and ecology created new questions for further research.
Now we fulfill our dream to continue the research in the RCN funded SpitsEco project. Good news… our company of fans increased, we have new PhD student Svetlana Pekkoeva (Institute of Biology Karelian Research Centre RAS, Petrozavodsk, Russia) which were touched to the bottom of her mind by the story of this tiny fish living in the Arctic and she decided to join our scientific team and enjoy the research.
Written by: Svetlana Murzina.