Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1186/s12862-019-1470-8
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Indication of ongoing amphipod speciation in Lake Baikal by genetic structures within endemic species
Author Gurkov, A.; Rivarola-Duarte, L.; Bedulina, D.; Fernández Casas, I.; Michael, H.; Drozdova, P.; Nazarova, A.; Govorukhina, E.B.; Timofeyev, M.; Stadler, P.F.; Luckenbach, T. ORCID logo
Source Titel BMC Evolutionary Biology
Year 2019
Department BIOTOX
Volume 19
Page From art. 138
Language englisch
Keywords Amphipods; Baikal; COI; Cryptic species; Speciation
UFZ wide themes LabEglo;


The ancient Lake Baikal is characterized by an outstanding diversity of endemic faunas with more than 350 amphipod species and subspecies. We determined the genetic diversity within the endemic littoral amphipod species Eulimnogammarus verrucosus, E. cyaneus and E. vittatus and investigated whether within those species genetically separate populations occur across Lake Baikal. Gammarus lacustris from water bodies in the Baikal area was examined for comparison.


Genetic diversities within a species were determined based on fragments of cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and for E. verrucosus additionally of 18S rDNA. Highly location-specific haplogroups of E. verrucosus and E. vittatus were found at the southern and western shores of Baikal that are separated by the Angara River outflow; E. verrucosus from the eastern shore formed a further, clearly distinct haplotype cluster possibly confined by the Selenga River and Angarskiy Sor deltas. The genetic diversities within these haplogroups were lower than between the different haplogroups. Intraspecific genetic diversities within E. verrucosus and E. vittatus with 13 and 10%, respectively, were similar to interspecies differences indicating the occurrence of cryptic, morphologically highly similar species; for E. verrucosus this was confirmed with 18S rDNA. The haplotypes of E. cyaneus and G. lacustris specimens were with intraspecific genetic distances of 3 and 2%, respectively, more homogeneous indicating no or only recent disruption of gene flow of E. cyaneus across Baikal and recent colonization of water bodies around Baikal by G. lacustris.


Our finding of separation of subgroups of Baikal endemic amphipods to different degrees points to a species-specific ability of dispersal across areas with adverse conditions and to potential geographical dispersal barriers in Lake Baikal.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Gurkov, A., Rivarola-Duarte, L., Bedulina, D., Fernández Casas, I., Michael, H., Drozdova, P., Nazarova, A., Govorukhina, E.B., Timofeyev, M., Stadler, P.F., Luckenbach, T. (2019):
Indication of ongoing amphipod speciation in Lake Baikal by genetic structures within endemic species
BMC Evol. Biol. 19 , art. 138 10.1186/s12862-019-1470-8