Microorganisms of Lake Baikal and Lake Nyasa as Indicators of Anthropogenic Influence: Prospects for Use in Biotechnology

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Restriction endonucleases (RENs) were detected in 650 microbial strains isolated from water columns and bottom sediments of deep rift lakes, Baikal (Russia) and Nyasa (Southeastern Africa). They enzymes included unique (Fan I, Aca I, and Sse 91) and very rare (Bsi I, and Cci N I) species not typical of aquatic ecosystems. Water columns, deep cores, and bottom sediments of pure areas of the lakes contained no microorganisms with new RENs. Thus, the inshore areas of Lake Baikal, having been exposed to anthropogenic influences, may contain mutant bacterial strains expressing RENs that have not been described previously.

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