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Thursday July 1, 2021, 5pm GMT+2



Dinoflagellates, which live or probably live in the ancient Lake Baikal: single cell and DNA metabarcoding studies

1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia 


Most molecular-genetic studies of freshwater protists correspond mainly to Northern Europe and North America. Lake Baikal is situated in the Eastern Siberia, Asia. It is the largest (by volume) and the oldest freshwater lake in the world. In contrast to its age of about 26 Myrs, our data suggest that a few known Baikal dinoflagellates are young species, which recently diverged from marine species. This makes them interesting objects to study speciation processes. At the same time our ongoing 18S rDNA metabarcoding studies reveal higher dinoflagellate diversity in the lake than previously was known. DNA fragments of Amoebophrya and Syndiniales were also found in Baikal. Of special interest is benthic species, because ancient Baikal taxa are commonly found within benthic community. However, analyzing DNA metabarcoding data we need to consider false-positive bias, which could be found in such data. Overall, dinoflagellate studies in Baikal region may help to feel the gaps in their phylogeography, as well as to provide a new knowledge about their adaptations to specific Baikal conditions.