Scientific achievements of the Research Institute of Biology of Irkutsk State University
30 March 2021

The scientific journal “Scientific reports” has published an article written by scientists of the Research Institute of Biology, co-authored with German colleagues. The article is dedicated to the issues of assessing the impact of the climate changes on the stress resistance of the Baikal endemic inhabitants. In the article, scientists investigate the question: why the Baikal endemic crustaceans do well in cold water (much better than the invading species) and why the continuing rise in the temperature of the Baikal water can negatively affect their vital activity. Maksim Timofeev, Doctor of Sciences (Biology), Director of the Research Institute of Biology, Irkutsk State University, outlined:

- For several years now, together with our colleagues from Germany (and thanks to the #RSF grant), we have been studying the features of the energy metabolism of the cold-loving Baikal amphipod species Eulimnogammarus verrucosus in comparison with their thermophilic relatives - the Baikal endemic E. cyaneus and the non-Baikal Gammarus lacustris. Energy metabolism is a key process for living organisms. It largely determines the temperature preferences for cold-blooded organisms. Most of the modern Baikal endemics took place in the lake when it was already very cold. Therefore, in the way of their evolution, the Baikal endemics have developed specific cellular and biochemical adaptations to these low temperatures. This narrow specialization to cold was reflected in the work of the metabolic apparatus: the use of various energy sources of fats, carbohydrates, as well as the work of regulatory enzyme systems are most effective in the low temperature range.