Study of variability of ITS1 and ITS2 spacers of rDNA of freshwater sponges (Porifera, Spongillida)

  • Itskovich V.B. 1
  • Sokolova A.M. 1
  • Kaluzhnaya O. 1
  • Yakhnenko A.S. 1, 2
  • Selvin J. 3
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
    2 Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 6 Joliot-Curie St, Dubna, Moscow Region, 141980, Russia
    3 Department of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, 605014, India
Keywords: Porifera, molecular phylogeny, ITS1 and ITS2, evolution, biodiversity


Molecular methods are especially important in the study of the taxonomy of sponges of ancient lakes, since when living at great depths, sponges lose their ability to form gemmules, and the structure of gemmules is an important taxonomic feature. However, the number of species and samples of freshwater sponges analyzed by molecular methods is insignificant today. In this work, we analyzed the variability of ITS1 and ITS2 of rDNA spacers of several species of freshwater sponges from geographically distant regions - Eastern Siberia, European Russia, Japan, and India. Our results confirmed the cosmopolitanism of the species Ephydatia fluviatilis and Spongilla lacustris and the adequacy of using ITS rDNA spacers for analyzing the phylogeny of freshwater sponges.