Characteristic of Lake Baikal viromes using high-throughput sequencing

Characteristic of Lake Baikal viromes using high-throughput sequencing

February 2021 — December 2021

Viruses are the most abundant biological group in water ecosystems. They control the richness and biodiversity of hydrobionts and affect the structure and productivity of aquatic biotopes, largely determining their functioning. Among the studies of viral communities – viromes – works on freshwater lakes are still scarce.

Lake Baikal Foundation’s project assesses the genetic and taxonomic diversity, and structure of the viral community in the pelagic zone of Lake Baikal using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics methods.

The research is carried out under the lead of Sergey Potapov, the winner of the Baikal Initiative grant competition for young scientists.

Goal:

  • To investigate the genetic diversity of viruses in Lake Baikal, to determine their taxonomic composition and the ratio of taxa, to replenish the data of virome studies from freshwater lakes, to identify potentially dangerous groups of viruses in Lake Baikal.

Tasks:

  • To provide grant support to the Limnological Institute Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences for the project implementation. 
  • To conduct the following works in 2021 within the grant support:
    • to carry out the genetic analysis of a diversity of viruses in Lake Baikal using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics methods;
    • to carry out an assessment of the genetic and taxonomic composition, structure of the viral community in the pelagic zone of Lake Baikal in the autumn, to conduct a comparative study with viromes obtained earlier also from other reservoirs;
    • to carry out an assessment of the viral communities of Lake Baikal on the content of potentially dangerous viruses, to analyze the possible threat of biological pollution of the biota of the lake by the ingress of microorganisms of anthropogenic origin from wastewater.


Water Conservation