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Trillium Enthusiast Discussion List (and other Woodland pl= Trillium Enthusiast Discussion List (and other Woodland pl=
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ants)"  <TRILLIUM-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL> <TRILLIUM-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL>
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From: Nevin Aspinwall <aspinwalln at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Paris/Kinugasa japonica
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Dear Jim,
The information in your post was not entirely correct. You state that the==
human genome has only 3 million bases.  Actually, the  human genome has=
3.4 Billion bases. The article was correct in stating that the Paris jap=o=
nica genome is 50 times larger than the human genome.  Where the numbers=
of 130,000,000 and 150,000,000 bases come from is unknown to me. Those n=u=
mbers are too small.
Sincerely,

Nevin in St. Louis

 

 


 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim McClements <jimmcclem at GMAIL.COM>
To: TRILLIUM-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL
Sent: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 11:22 am
Subject: Paris/Kinugasa japonica


Pardon the length of this, but I thought that some might find it as

fascinating as I did!



Jim





Claim: White flower has world's

longest genome

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer  1 hr 21 mins ago

LONDON =E2=80=93 An ordinary-looking white flower from Japan may ca=rry som=
ething

quite

extraordinary within its pale petals =E2=80=94 the longest genome e=ver dis=
covered.

Researchers at London's Kew Gardens said Thursday they'd discovered that=
the

Paris

japonica has a genetic code 50 times longer than that of a human being. T=h=
e

length of that

code easily beats its nearest competitor, a long-bodied muck dweller know=n

as the marbled

lungfish.

"We were astounded really," said Ilia Leitch, of Kew's Jodrell Laboratory.

Leitch and her colleagues suspected the plant might have an

larger-than-usual genetic code

as its relatives have rather large ones too. But the sheer size of this

flower's genome =E2=80=94 if

stretched end-to-end it would be taller than Big Ben =E2=80=94 caug=ht them=
by

surprise.

"We certainly didn't expect to find it," she said.

A genome is the full complement of an organism's DNA, complex molecules t=h=
at

direct the

formation and function of all living organisms. The size of an organism's

genome is typically

measured by the number of bases it contains =E2=80=94 base pairs be=ing the=
building

blocks of DNA.

The human genome, for example, has about 3 million bases. The marbled

lungfish has a

whopping 130 million bases. And the 12-inch (30-centimeter) flower studie=d

by Leitch turns out

to have 150 million.

Outside experts were impressed.

"This is certainly an enormously large genome," said Nick Lane, a fellow=
at

the Department of

Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. "I don'=t

know of any larger

genomes among plants or animals."

Still, he cautioned that micro-organisms known as amoebas might have even

longer codes,

saying that the record "might not last long."

Both Leitch and Lane said the find illustrates the staggering diversity o=f

genome sizes. While

10/7/2010

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101007/ap_on_sc/eu_britain_longest_genome/pr=i=
nt

Paris japonica and the marbled lungfish have huge ones, other genetic cod=e=
s

are minuscule =E2=80=94

the parasite known as Encephalitozoon intestinalis, for example, carries

approximately 2,300

bases.

It's not always clear why the range varies so wildly. Bigger genomes don'=t

necessarily mean a

more complex organism. Whereas genes are generally supposed to correspond==
to

some traits

=E2=80=94 blonde hair, for example, is genetically determined =E2==80=94 in=
organisms with

huge genomes,

many genes don't appear to correspond to anything.

"Effectively, some cells carry massive amounts of 'junk,' or at least

non-coding DNA, whereas

others have very little," Lane said.

Leitch said that geneticists are still discussing the question of why som=e

organisms carry

masses of non-coding DNA, and that the study of organisms such as the Par=i=
s

japonica can

help add to the debate.

"It's a question that's long intrigued scientists," she said.

The results of her team's research are bring published in the Botanical

Journal of the Linnean

Society.



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