Biggest plant genome found

Nhu Nguyen
Mon, 24 Jan 2011 14:50:51 PST
Dear geophyte lovers,

Recent news in the hot area of genome biology found that a geophyte, Paris
japonica, holds the record for having the largest eukaryotic gemone ever
found. Here is a bit from Science Magazine:
"Now THAT's a genome. A rare Japanese flower named *Paris japonica* sports
an astonishing 149 billion base pairs, making it 50 times the size of a
human genome—and the largest genome ever found. Until now, the biggest
genome belonged to the marbled lungfish, whose 130 billion base pairs
weighed in at an impressive 132.83 picograms. (A picogram is one-trillionth
of a gram). The genome of the new record-holder, revealed in a
*Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society*, would be taller than Big Ben if
stretched out end to end. (The smallest genome known among organisms with
nuclei is that of a mammalian parasite known as *Encephalitozoon
intestinalis*, with a relatively paltry 2.25 million base pairs). The
researchers warn however that big genomes tend to be a liability: plants
with lots of DNA have more trouble tolerating pollution and extreme climatic
extinctions—and they grow more slowly than plants with less DNA, because it
takes so long to replicate their genome."

Berkeley CA -- unusually sunny and warm this past week

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