Biological Communications <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> Saint Petersburg State University en-US Biological Communications 2542-2154 <p>Articles of <em>Biological Communications</em> are open access distributed under the terms of the <a title="License Agreement" href="/about/submissions#LicenseAgreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">License Agreement</a> with Saint Petersburg State University, which permits to the authors unrestricted distribution and self-archiving free of charge.</p> The School of Inge <p>These notes were written in relation to 80th anniversary of professor Sergey Inge-Vechtomov, who about 50 years is the head of laboratory of physiological genetics. Authors describe the amazing atmosphere of the scientific creativity that was cultivated by Sergey in his lab from the very beginning of its existence, recall the many people who worked there in the 60s and 70s, remember funny situations from the history of the laboratory. Sergey G. Inge-Vechtomov instilled in his students high standards of scientific research. Being a mentor is a special talent. Very few had such a strong impact on the lives and characters of his students like Sergey G. Inge-Vechtomov. Very few can be called a true Teacher.</p> Lyudmila Mironova Tatiana Karpova ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 3–10 3–10 10.21638/spbu03.2019.101 Great Crested Grebe (<em>Podiceps cristatus</em>) synchronies egg laying with protective species <p>Great crested grebes (<em>Podiceps cristatus</em>) are opportunistic breeders nesting in colonies or solitarily in different biotopes with varying nesting dates in different circumstances. On the northern coast of the Neva Bay in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, great crested grebes breed solitarily, in colonies situated in reed beds and in a colony on the open water in direct vicinity of a colony of black-headed gulls (<em>Larus ridibundus</em>) and black terns (<em>Chlidonias niger</em>). In the vicinity of the larid colony, grebes profit from the protecting behaviour of gulls and terns in a similar way as they do in their mixed colonies with larids. Despite the fact that small larids have a shorter incubation period than great crested grebes, the latter synchronize their beginning of incubation with the gulls and terns. The incubation of all three species in two adjoining open-water colonies started on the same dates. The incubation of grebes nesting in the reed beds began significantly later. The average clutch sizes did not differ significantly between the colonies situated on the open water near larids and those in the reeds. The average lowest distances between the nests of great crested grebes in the open water colony were larger than in the reed bed colonies. The ability to synchronize the beginning of incubation with a small protecting species helps great crested grebes to occupy otherwise unsafe habitats.</p> Elmira Zainagutdinova Yuriy Mikhailov ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 11–19 11–19 10.21638/spbu03.2019.102 Subsidiary adaptations: climbing techniques in vespertilionid bats <p>The quadrupedal locomotion of bats still remains almost unexplored. Meanwhile, in the life of many species, this type of movement plays an important role. This paper presents the study of characteristics of quadrupedal locomotion on vertical surfaces in bats. We provide the results of the analysis of climbing of five vespertilionid species. The study is based on high-speed video recording of locomotion in two planes in an experimental enclosure on various substrates (the bark of five tree species and the inner surface of the manufactured nest box for bats). For comparison, we used data on horizontal locomotion obtained using the same experimental facilities, as well as all available literature data to date. The time, metric and velocity characteristics of the movement of different species representatives are determined. We show how these characteristics are interrelated and how they differ in walking or climbing. The study comparing walking vs. climbing was performed for the second time ever. It is shown that while climbing, bats retain the same limb sequence, but the gait is not a slow trot-like walk but a very slow walk. There are considerably fewer deviations from the usual symmetrical sequence gait (wherein a forelimb movement is followed by that of the contralateral hind limb) when climbing than when walking, and they are all associated with the search for support. Our results show that not all tree-dwelling species of vesper bats can move up the trees which they use to roost. The surface of the inner walls of artificial shelters for bats may be a significant factor in their occupancy. While designing such shelters, it is advisable to consider the results of our experiments or conduct tests on the behavior of particular species on specific artificial surfaces.</p> Olga Emelianova Aleksandra Panyutina Ksenia Morozova Yakov Davidov Maria Kovalenko Daria Kalacheva Anastasia Shvyrkova ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 20–30 20–30 10.21638/spbu03.2019.103 Musculature and innervation of the pygidium in Eunicida (Annelida: Errantia) <p>The pygidium is a terminal part of the annelid body that is considered non-homologous to body segments. Despite the high level of morphological diversity, the internal morphology of the pygidial region is very poorly studied. Recent research revealed that in some errant annelids the pygidium possesses complex musculature and innervation. To provide new data for the comparative analysis of pygidial organization, the musculature and innervation in the pygidial region in five annelid species belonging to the order Eunicida were studied using phalloidin labeling, immunohistochemistry and confocal scanning microscopy. In all studied species the pygidial musculature consists of a circular or horseshoe-shaped muscle. The pygidial innervation comprises two pairs of main longitudinal nerves and paired circumpigidial nerves. The single pair of longitudinal nerves in <em>Ophryotrocha irinae</em> may be regarded as a secondary loss. In <em>Schistomeringos japonica</em> a small terminal commissure between longitudinal nerves was found. The finding of numerous receptor cell endings in the surface of the pygidium suggests its important sensory function. Comparison with Phyllodocida demonstrates the high level of similarities in the pygidial organization and the loss of the terminal commissure in Eunicida.</p> Viktor Starunov ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 31–40 31–40 10.21638/spbu03.2019.104 Cytostatic activity in the hydrophilic fraction of the crude extract from the White Sea sponge <em>Halichondria panicea</em> <p><em>Halichondria panicea</em>, commonly known as the breadcrumb sponge, is an ecologically aggressive and widespread species in the coastal waters of North Atlantic and North Pacific. Cytostatic activity of the water-soluble extract fraction from the White Sea sponge <em>Halichondria panicea</em> was tested using organotypic cultures of rat liver fragments. The study shows a pronounced negative dose-dependent effect of the extract on the development of tissue explants of the test animals. Our results confirm toxicity of the White Sea <em>Halichondria panicea</em>, which was revealed earlier toward marine epibenthic organisms. The chemical nature of a substance or substances responsible for toxic effect is discussed.</p> Vyacheslav Khalaman Natalia Chalisova Konstantin Krasnov Marina Alexandrova ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 41–45 41–45 10.21638/spbu03.2019.105 Soil physical and chemical properties changes after zinc contamination <p>The aim of this work was to study the effect of a high rate of Zn on the chemical bond forms of metal in soil and on the physical properties and organic matter of Haplic Chernozem under model experiment conditions. The metal sequential extraction procedure used in this study was the classical five-step method proposed by Tessier et al. (1979). The particle size distribution was determined by the pipette method (using the pyrophosphate procedure of soil preparation) (GOST 12536-79). The microaggregate distribution was determined in the same way as the particle size distribution analysis above, except that there was no chemical dispersant (sodium pyrophosphate) applied (only mechanical agitation with water) (GOST 12536-79; Vadyunina and Korchagina, 1973). The qualitative composition of organic matter was determined using the Tyurin procedure modified by Ponomareva and Plotnikova (Vorob’eva, 2006). Contamination of Haplic Chernozem with Zn acetates at high rates of 2000 mg/kg affected the physical and chemical properties of the soil. A significant increase in the first two soil fractions least strongly bound to the soil was observed in contaminated soils. Silicates and Fe-Mn oxides made the largest contribution to the Zn adsorption and retention. The content of organo-mineral particles in colloidal size increased, which resulted in an increase of the clay fraction content up to 4.5 % compared to the control. The qualitative composition of organic matter changed: the contents of free and sesquioxide-bound humic acids and free fulvic acids increased. Studies of soil physical properties and organic matter quality changes and chemical bond forms of Zn in soil are needed to better understand metal behaviors in the environment and implement repair strategies in different polluted soils.</p> Tatiana Bauer Tatiana Minkina David Pinskii Inna Zamulina Saglara Mandzhieva Dina Nevidomskaya Marina Burachevskaya ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 46–54 46–54 10.21638/spbu03.2019.106 3D-clinorotation induces specific alterations in metabolite profiles of germinating <em>Brassica napus</em> L. seeds <p>During the whole history of their life on Earth, higher plants evolved under the constant gravity stimulus. Therefore, plants developed efficient mechanisms of gravity perception, underlying their ability to adjust the direction of growth to the gravity vector, i.e. the phenomenon of gravitropism. In this context, alterations in the magnitude and vector of the gravity field might compromise plant growth and development. This aspect was successfully addressed in gravity fields of low intensity (microgravity). On the other hand, microgravity can be simulated on the Earth by clinorotation, i.e. rotation of the experimental plant along one or several axes. This approach is routinely used for studies of gravity-related responses of crop plants, although the effect of simulated microgravity on the most sensitive ontogenetic stages — germination and seedling development — is still not sufficiently characterized. Recently, we addressed the effects of clinorotation on the proteome of germinating oilseed rape (<em>Brassica napus</em>) seeds. Here we extend this study to the seedling primary metabolome and address its changes in the presence of 3D-clinorotation. GC-MS analysis revealed essential alterations in patterns of sugars and sugar phosphates (specifically glucose-6-phosphate), methionine and glycerol. Thereby, abundances of individual metabolites showed high dispersion, indicating high lability and plasticity of the seedling metabolome.</p> Veronika Chantseva Tatiana Bilova Galina Smolikova Andrej Frolov Sergei Medvedev ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-24 2019-05-24 64 1 55–74 55–74 10.21638/spbu03.2019.107