Lake Baikal is inhabited by a relatively large number of cyclopid species, many of which are endemics. Two genera, Diacyclops Kiefer, 1927 and Acanthocyclops Kiefer, 1927, are the most specious in the lake. Taxonomic discrimination of the majority of representatives of these genera is difficult owing to their high morphological similarities and poor standard description. In this study, a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Lake Baikal members of the Diacyclops/Acanthocyclops group is performed on the basis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. It is shown that a fragment of COI 1000 bp long is sufficient for intragenus discrimination of the cyclopids of Lake Baikal. The issues of Diacyclops/Acanthocyclops taxonomy are reflected in the obtained molecular data. Two distinct phylogenetic groups of Diacyclops genus with uncertain taxonomic status are revealed.
The biodiversity and the biogeography are still poorly understood for freshwater invertebrates. The crustacean Chydorus sphaericus-brevilabris complex (Cladocera: Chydoridae) is composed of species that are important components of Holarctic freshwater food webs. Recent morphological and genetic study of the complex has indicated a substantial species diversity in the northern hemisphere. However, we know little of the geographic boundaries of these novel lineages. Moreover, a large section of the Palearctic remains unexamined at the genetic level. Here we attempt to address the biodiversity knowledge gap for the Chydorus sphaericus group in the central Palearctic and assess its diversity and biogeographic boundaries. We sequenced nuclear (ITS-2) and mitochondrial (COI) gene regions of Chydorus specimens across the Palearctic and compared them with already available Holarctic sequences. We detected six main clades in the C. sphaericus group in the Palearctic, of which two of the groups are novel. Three of the more divergent clades are geographically widespread. The central portion of Eurasia (the Yenisey River basin) appears to be a narrow zone of secondary contact for phylogroups that expanded from European and Beringian refugia. As such, the previously unsampled central Palearctic represents an important region for understanding the evolutionary consequences of Pleistocene climatic oscillations on the Chydorus sphaericus group.
Endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are evolutionarily ancient factors of innate immunity, which are produced by all multicellular organisms and play a key role in their protection against infection. Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), also called Kamchatka crab, is widely distributed and the best known species of all king crabs belonging to the family Lithodidae. Despite their economic importance, the genetic resources of king crabs are scarcely known and no full-genome sequences are available to date. Therefore, analysis of the red king crab transcriptome and identification and characterization of its AMPs could potentially contribute to the development of novel antimicrobial drug candidates when antibiotic resistance has become a global health threat. In this study, we sequenced the P. camtschaticus transcriptomes from carapace, tail flap and leg tissues using an Illumina NGS platform. Libraries were systematically analyzed for gene expression profiles along with AMP prediction. By an in silico approach using public databases we defined 49 cDNAs encoding for AMP candidates belonging to diverse families and functional classes, including buforins, crustins, paralithocins, and ALFs (anti-lipopolysaccharide factors). We analyzed expression patterns of 27 AMP genes. The highest expression was found for Paralithocin 1 and Crustin 3, with more than 8,000 reads. Other paralithocins, ALFs, crustins and ubiquicidins were among medium expressed genes. This transcriptome data set and AMPs provide a solid baseline for further functional analysis in P. camtschaticus. Results from the current study contribute also to the future application of red king crab as a bio-resource in addition to its being a known seafood delicacy.