Prospects for population genetic studies of cosmopolitan freshwater sponges of the Spongillidae family in Lake Baikal


  • Yakhnenko, A. S. 1, 2 ID
  • Itskovich, V. B. 1 ID
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 3, Ulan-Batorskaya, Irkutsk, Russia, 664033
    2 International Intergovernmental Organization Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 6 Joliot-Curie St, Dubna, Moscow Region, Russia, 141980



Genetic markers, microsatellites, population genetics, sponges, Porifera, Lake Baikal


Cosmopolitan freshwater sponges inhabit Lake Baikal. They are of great interest for carrying out population genetic studies. Microsatellite markers are best suited for population genetic studies of sponges. To date, no markers have been developed for the species Ephydatia muelleri that is widespread in Lake Baikal and found across the northern hemisphere. In the course of this study, a search was carried out for microsatellite markers in the previously published complete genome of E.muelleri. The most promising microsatellite loci were selected among those found in the genome data. Selected loci were tested on E.muelleri DNA samples. A set of 11 specific variable microsatellite markers was developed and tested for further population genetic studies of E.muelleri. Also, the Maloye More Strait area of Lake Baikal was surveyed to determine the sites of mass accumulation of the Spongilliadae family representatives. An analysis of the species composition of cosmopolitan sponges was carried out for Site 1 (Olkhon Island). Two species were identified: E.muelleri (72%) and Spongilla lacusris (18%).