Rare Japanese plant has largest genome known to science
ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — Scientists at Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory have discovered that Paris japonica, a striking rare native of Japan(1), has the largest genome(2) of them all — bigger than the human genome and even larger than the previous record holder — the marbled lungfish.
The results are published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.
The diversity of genome sizes (the amount of DNA) in plants and animals has fascinated but at the same time puzzled scientists since this variation was first detected in the early 20th century. How and why such diversity evolved are important unanswered questions because we know that it has biological and ecological consequences that affect the distribution and persistence of biodiversity.