Meetings of the consortium implementing the international grant INDEPTH: Frontiers of life: Diversity, adaptation strategies and biotechnological potential of Arctic deep-sea microorganisms are ahead of us. The project concerns research on the biosphere of the deep ocean and is implemented under the GRIEG competition financed from the Norwegian funds.

On June 9-11, the University of Gdańsk will host partners of the international research project INDEPTH | Frontiers of life: diversity, adaptation strategies and biotechnological potential of microorganisms living in the Arctic deep sea.  

The event was organised by dr Anna-Karina Kaczorowska from the Plasmid and Microbial Collection and prof. Tadeusz Kaczorowski from the Extremophile Biology Laboratory of the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, UG - Project Manager.

The meeting summarising the first six months of the project will be attended by the scientific team of prof. Ida Helene Steen from the Deep Sea Research Centre at the University of Bergen in Norway, the main partner of the project, and Polish partners from the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań.

About the INDEPTH project

Scientists from the University of Gdańsk and the University of Bergen study within the project the biodiversity of microorganisms living in the depths and geothermal chimneys of mid-oceanic ridges in the Arctic Sea based on a modern metagenomic approach.

The idea for the project was born at the junction of joint interests of the Extremophile Biology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology UG (represented by prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Kaczorowski), Plasmid and Microbial Collection of the Faculty of Biology UG (represented by dr n. med. Anna-Karina Kaczorowska) and laboratory of prof. Ida H. Steen from the University of Bergen.

'Although water covers more than half of the Earth's surface and is a home for between 2 and 20 million different species of living organisms, the deep sea is one of the least explored areas of our planet. This vast abyss is often seen as a frontier area for life, due to the lack of light, high pressure, limited availability of nutrients, and extreme temperatures ranging from 2-4°C in most habitats to over 100°C in areas with hydrothermal fields,' - says prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Kaczorowski. - 'Ocean depths are an almost primordial environment, giving us an insight into the conditions that accompanied the emergence of life on Earth. Because of their uniqueness, these depths may become a valuable source of biosources with potential applications in biotechnology. However, so far the vast majority of functional and biochemical diversity of microorganisms functioning in these habitats is hidden in microorganisms that we cannot grow in laboratories.'

As the UG scientists point out, this collaboration will enable the project to use the vast amount of metagenomic data and deep-sea samples collected during annual scientific expeditions to the Arctic.

'We expect that our research will have a significant impact on understanding the ecology and metabolism of extremophiles, with a particular focus on the biogeochemical carbon cycle, and will advance knowledge of the evolution and adaptive strategies associated with life in extreme habitats. We will also develop knowledge on enzymes operating in extreme conditions, which are characterised by unique properties, often sought after by the biotechnology industry,' - explains dr n. med. Anna-Karina Kaczorowska.

Let us recall that the INDEPTH project has received funding of EUR 1.5 million from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism under the GRIEG programme.

For more information about research conducted under the project:


EMW / Press Office UG