AIDA study during the 2018 Pool World Championship in Belgrade

Published: 14/06/2018

The study of molecular-genetic markers of "success" among divers and response to maximal hypoxic exercise.


The study will take place at the end of June 2018 durring the AIDA Pool World Championship in Belgrade and athleted are invited to participate


What is the purpose of the study?


The sports genetics, which operates a wide range of methods for genetic testing, is currently one of the most perspective areas of sports medicine. The methods of genetic testing are absolutely safe and they are much better at revealing the individual characteristics of a person than any other methods. It is well established that people differ in perceiving and adapting to training loads. These differences are due to genetic factors – genes, after all. The sports genetics is currently determining the groups of genes that are critical for every particular sport.

This study is focused on molecular genetic, psychological and physiological markers of health, preparedness and readiness of athletes for the deep dive. In our study we will consider the following gene groups: genes responsible for the regulation of inhalation initiation; genes involved in thermoregulation; genes responsible for motivation and stress resistance.

Genes  that study will focus on:


  • UCP2, UCP3 (mitochondrial uncoupling protein) – gene that take part in thermoregulation, transport of fatty acids, maintenance of glucose homeostasis and neutralisation of reactive oxygen species that cause lipid-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage.[Rostovtseva E. V., 2009; Salgado R.M., 2017; Глотов А.С., 2009]
  • KCC2 (SLC12A5) (solute carrier family 12 member 5) – a potassium chloride co-transporter may be associated with the release of insulin. Involved in the thermoregulatory function of neurons (see GABAergic transmission). [Shams Kursan, 2016]


  • HIF1A (hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha) - Key activator and regulator of processes providing resistance to hypoxia. [Wang et al., 1995; Guillemin K., Krasnow M.A.,1997; Semenza G.L., 2003]. 
  • PIEZO2 (Piezo-type mechanosensitive ion channel component 2) – Gene responsible for the duration of the inspiration. [Margaret J. McMillin et al., 2014; Mariko Okubo, 2014; Keiko Nonomura, 2017] Психогенетика:
  • Myoglobin polymorphism screening - gene responsible for the oxygen storage.

The aim is to determine whether elite level performance in breath-hold diving is due to the presence of a more efficient form of the oxygen binding protein, “super-charged myoglobin” or due to training alone. It is likely that both play a role.




  • Gen 5HTT (SLC6A4) (solute carrier family 6 member 4) – the product of the gene is associated with the development of the reaction of fear, aggression, anxiety, hostility and depression in humans. [Суходольская Е.М., 2016; Sysoeva O.V., 2009]
  • COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase) – gene, responsible for the speed of decision-making. [Rostovtseva E. V., 2009]



You are invited to participate in a scientific study on the genetic characteristics of athletes - Divers who dived to the depths more than 40 m.

Requirements for the research participant:

  • Both males and females may participate
  • Your age: Adult
  • You have made at least one dive to a depth of more than 40 m.
  • You swim more then 150 m DYN
  • You filled in the participant form

Consent form will be signed by all participants.

*For the myoglobin gene only experienced freedivers (>3 years) and deeper than 70m will be tested


Study protocol

Study will take place during Individual AIDA Pool World championship 2018. During the study you should fill a questionnaire and donate blood from a vein and a sample of your inner cheek cells (only for the myoglobin gene). No more than 2,5 ml of blood will be taken at once. Blood sample should be taken before and after attempt 26 of june. If additional blood sampling is required, you will be informed about this separately.


  • Results of the study are expected within a year from the moment of samples collection by Biobank.
  • The research will be conducted at St. Petersburg State University (Resource Centre «Centre Biobank») using the method of Real-Time PCR and modern equipment, which allows genotyping a human by specific genes. DNA extracted from blood will be used for the study. The excesses of blood and DNA will be stored in a cryostorage until needed and may be used in further studies with participant’s consent. For the myoglobin genotyping will be realized at the Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, UK with similar methodology.


For participation in the study please send application to with  your:

  • Name
  • Surname
  • Best DYN result during last 12 month
  • Best CWT result last 12 month
  • Years of experience in freediving

Study is very expensive and we have limited amount of places.

Registration for the study is required!


Expenses and Payments

Participation in the study is free of charge. Each participant is free to access results of genetic analysis of his DNA. The results of the study will be available on request. Please, send your request at

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