Scientists Sequence The Largest Genome To Date

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Proof that genome size doesn't correlate with intelligence. Or DOES it? 

Loblolly pines are pleasant conifers that grow throughout the Southeast US, and are probably the most commercially important tree in the South. Denizens of the lowlands, they are also found in clay soils, quickly reclaim old fields, and have a fragrant smell that some say resembles rosemary (or gin). But they have another surprising trait: Their genome is one of the largest on record. Due to the unwieldy size of this tangle of DNA, though, it has been difficult to sequence.

Now, using new methods, scientists have succeeded, making it the largest genome sequenced to date. The genome contains 22.18 billion base pairs, making it more than seven times longer than the human genome. A total of 82 percent of the genome was made up of duplicated segments, compared with just 25 percent in humans, Science Magazine reported:

Written By: Douglas Main
continue to source article at popsci.com

3 COMMENTS

  1. One species of the protist Amoeba has about 670 billion base pairs – about 230 bigger than the Homo sapiens genome. This conifer species doesn’t come close to having the largest known genome.

    • In reply to #1 by James St. John:

      One species of the protist Amoeba has about 670 billion base pairs – about 230 bigger than the Homo sapiens genome. This conifer species doesn’t come close to having the largest known genome.

      But it’s the largest genome that has been sequenced to date, which is what the article is claiming.

  2. On a related issue, I see:- Scientists hail synthetic chromosome advance – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26768445

    Scientists have created the first synthetic chromosome for yeast in a landmark for biological engineering.

    Previously synthetic DNA has been designed and made for simpler organisms such as bacteria.

    As a form of life whose cells contain a nucleus, yeast is related to plants and animals and shares 2,000 genes with us.

    So the creation of the first of yeast’s 16 chromosomes has been hailed as “a massive deal” in the emerging science of synthetic biology.

    The genes in the original chromosome were replaced with synthetic versions and the finished manmade chromosome was then successfully integrated into a yeast cell.

    The new cell was then observed to reproduce, passing a key test of viability.

    Yeast is a favoured target for this research because of its well-established use in key industries such as brewing and baking and its potential for future industrial applications.

    One company in California has already used synthetic biology to create a strain of yeast that can produce artemisinin, an ingredient for an anti-malarial drug.

    The synthesis of chromosome III in yeast was undertaken by an international team and the findings are published in the journal Science (yeast chromosomes are normally designated by Roman numerals).

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