New approaches to the development of microsatellite markers in the study of Baikal sponges

  • Yakhnenko A.S. 1, 2
  • Itskovich V.B. 1
  • 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
Keywords: Genetics, Baikal sponges, population genetics, microsatellite marker, evolution, ecology


Microsatellite markers are widely used to solve problems related to the population structure and genetic diversity of organisms. The study of the population structure of cosmopolitan freshwater sponges and endemic Baikal sponges is necessary because sponges serve as biological indicators. Population studies of Baikal endemic sponges have not been previously conducted. Due to the mass mortality and disease of sponges observed in Lake Baikal in the past decade, research in this field is of special relevance. In this work, for the first time, we developed universal microsatellite markers for population genetic studies of freshwater sponges of the species Lubomirskia baikalensis and Ephydatia muelleri using bioinformatics methods based on complete genomes analyses. In total, we developed 75 loci with microsatellite sequences of a length suitable for both species. These markers will be tested on sponge samples of the species Lubomirskia baikalensis and Ephydatia muelleri that have different life cycles and habitat conditions at early stages.