Biological Communications 2018-02-05T23:45:54+03:00 Yegor B. Malashichev Open Journal Systems <p>Biological Communications is a rebranded new title of the former journal «Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Series 3. Biology». The journal was founded as «Vestnik of Leningrad University» in 1946.&nbsp;Since 1953, it was published under several series. In 1956 the series «Biology» was first established.&nbsp;As its predecessors, Biological Communications is published at a quarterly&nbsp;basis.</p> Celebrating the Jubilee of Elena Gaginskaya — the founder of the Lampbrushology School in Saint Petersburg University 2018-02-05T23:45:52+03:00 Alsu Saifitdinova Elena Koshel Maria Vishnevskaya Svetlana Galkina <p>Elena Gaginskaya is an outstanding scientist, doctor of biological sciences, professor, international expert, creator of the first core facility at St. Petersburg State University, and the founder of the Lampbrushology Scientific School. She celebrates her 85<sup>th</sup> birthday this year. Students, colleagues and friends congratulate Elena with all their hearts on her jubilee, and mark their devotion to her with this publication.</p> 2017-12-29T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Preparation of lampbrush chromosomes dissected from avian and reptilian growing oocytes 2018-02-05T23:45:53+03:00 Alsu Saifitdinova Svetlana Galkina Valeriia Volodkina Elena Gaginskaya <p>Lampbrush chromosomes represent transcriptionally active chromosomes that exist during the extended diplotene phase in the growing ovarian eggs of many vertebrate animals, except therian mammals. They are excellent for studying chromosome structure and aspects of RNA transcription. Because of their giant size they allow a great increase in the resolution for physical gene mapping. Lampbrush chromosomes have no connection with the nuclear envelope, and can be manually dissected from living oocyte nuclei. Here we present the complete protocol for lampbrush chromosome microsurgical isolation from avian and reptilian germinal vesicles. These chromosome preparations can be further used for fluorescence <em>in situ</em> hybridization (FISH) and immunostaining.</p> 2017-12-29T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Soil organic matter quality and composition in a postfire Scotch pine forest in Tolyatti, Samara region 2018-02-05T23:45:52+03:00 Ekaterina Maksimova Evgeny Abakumov <p>Evaluation of humus accumulation and humification rates was conducted on soils affected by surface and crown fires during 2010 forest fires near Tolyatti (Samara region, Russia). Three key soil plots were studied for estimating SOM quality changes under the forest fire effect. Total carbon and nitrogen content, as well as С<sub>humic acids</sub>/C<sub>fulvic acids</sub> (C<sub>ha</sub>/C<sub>fa</sub>) ratios, were estimated to evaluate the dynamics of soil recovery. Humic acid powders were extracted from soils and analyzed by elemental composition and <sup>13</sup>C-NMR spectroscopy to assess changes in structure and composition. The data indicate that the burning of a forest floor and humic horizon led to humus losses and decreases in total carbon stocks and content. As a result of the fires, the content of humic acids in the pyrogenic horizon increased. Greater increases in the degree of organic matter humification were observed for surface fires than for crown fires. Fire also lead to the formation of humic acids with an increased proportion of aromatic compounds than in control soils, which indicates the degradation of carboxylic and aliphatic groups of molecules under the burning effect. This corresponds well with the decrease of the proportion of hydrogen when comparing the elemental composition of burned soil with that of mature soil.</p> 2017-12-29T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Palmar flexion creases and finger linkage groups in New World monkeys — functional and evolutionary palmistry 2018-02-05T23:45:53+03:00 Mellin Novikova Alexander Kuznetsov <p>Manipulatory abilities and activities of primate hands are crucially important for humanity’s understanding of our own species, and they have been very well studied in diverse aspects. However, there remains a surprising ignorance as to the variety of flexion creases on primate palms and their functional and evolutionary significance. Here we present the first extensive attempt to fill this gap. Major attention is paid to New World monkeys known for the diversity of their grasping adaptations, which exceeds that of prosimians, Old World monkeys and apes together. The presented analysis is based on the assumption that the palmar flexion creases border groups of fingers which are used together — which we suggest naming “finger linkage groups”. We show that this assumption is in agreement with what is known about hand usage in locomotion and manipulation by different primates. Here we show that the <em>Life Line</em> bordering the thumb is present in all primates manifesting the basic ability of thumb opposition, which can be enhanced (like in humans or capuchins) or reduced (like in marmosets or spider monkeys). Longitudinal creases (<em>Fate Line</em>) seem to have appeared early in evolution, as they are present in lemurs, marmosets, and some Old World monkeys; typically, two longitudinal creases are present (humans show one as a variation). The longitudinal creases were replaced in simian evolution by transversal ones, of which the most common is the <em>Simian Line</em> bordering fingers II–V and facilitating a power grip by these four fingers against the palm. This four–finger crease is the only type of transversal creases known in Old World monkeys and apes (the last have two such creases). In marmosets the transversal crease borders all five fingers, while in schizodactylous New World Monkeys it borders only the three last fingers. Apart from them, such a three–finger crease, known as the <em>Heart Line</em>, is found in humans only. However, its origin is different. In human evolution, it was most likely produced by a breakage of the ancestral <em>Simian Line</em> into two, the second half being represented by the unique human <em>Head Line</em>. This breakage dislinked the index finger from the power grip, allowing for pointing gestures and individual usage of this finger.</p> 2017-12-29T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mild osmotic stress in intertidal gastropods <em>Littorina saxatilis</em> and <em>Littorina obtusata</em> (Mollusca: Caenogastropoda): a proteomic analysis 2018-02-05T23:45:54+03:00 Olga Muraeva Arina Maltseva Marina Varfolomeeva Natalia Mikhailova Andrey Granovitch <p>Salinity is a crucial abiotic environmental factor for marine animals, affecting their physiology and geographic ranges. Deviation of environmental salinity from the organismal optimum range results in an osmotic stress in osmoconformers, which keep their fluids isotonic to the environment. The ability to overcome such stress is critical for animals inhabiting areas with considerable salinity variation, such as intertidal areas. In this study, we compared the reaction to mild water freshening (from 24 to 14 ‰) in two related species of intertidal snails, <em>Littorina saxatilis</em> and <em>L. obtusata</em>, with respect to several aspects: survival, behavior and proteomic changes. Among these species, <em>L. saxatilis</em> is more tolerant to low salinity and survives in estuaries. We found out that the response of these species was much milder (with no mortality or isolation reaction observed) and involved weaker proteomic changes than during acute stress (freshening from 24 to 10 ‰), characterized earlier. The proteomic response of the second species, <em>L. obtusata</em>, was weaker (6 % vs 10 % of regulated proteins) than that of <em>L. saxatilis</em> and engaged mainly other proteins. Among proteins potentially involved in adaptation to low salinity, we identified enzymes of energetic metabolism and antioxidant response, chaperones, proteins of extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton, ion channels and regulators of cell growth and proliferation.</p> 2017-12-29T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##