23:27 | Author: shanragav
Researchers at London's Kew Gardens have discovered that Paris japonica, a striking rare native plant of Japan sports an astonishing 149 billion base pairs, making it 50 times the size of a human genome (3billion base pairs) and setting the new world record for the Longest genome ever discovered.
Until now, the biggest genome belonged to the marbled lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus), whose 130 billion base pairs. Among plants,the record holder for 34 years was a species of fritillary (Fritillaria assyriaca). However earlier this year a Dutch group knocked the fritillary off the top spot when they found that a natural hybrid of trillium related to herb paris, had a genome just 4% larger than the fritillary.
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.
“We all have 46 chromosomes in our own cells. And if you took the DNA out from that and unraveled it, it would stretch about two meters. However, if you do the same for this plant, this Paris Japonica, if you unravelled all its DNA, it would stretch over a 100 meters”.
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