Dr. Garth Fletcher
The diversity, evolution, mechanisms of action, and
physiological regulation of fish antifreeze proteins and their
genes: G. Fletcher.
The subzero water temperatures and ice that characterise the coastal waters of Newfoundland and other polar and subpolar regions of the world during winter are lethal to most teleost fishes. The only teleosts that survive such environments are those that produce antifreeze proteins. Research at the OSC in collaboration with C. Hew (National University of Singapore) and P. Davies (Queen’s) has, and is being carried out on all aspects of these unique proteins: molecular biology, fisheries oceanography, transgenic fish, and commercialisation of some of the findings.
Research continues on the characterization of antifreeze proteins, their genes and their tissue specific expression, and on transgenic salmon containing GH, lysozyme and antifreeze gene constructs. In addition we have initiated collaborative AquaNet research with P. Davies to design and test the efficacy of genes designed using an insect antifreeze protein gene model. Future collaborative research will examine the efficacy of anti-microbial peptides in salmonids (S. Douglas, NRC, Halifax and D. Barker of the Marine Institute; AIF funded).