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World-record genome

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SCIENCE: “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 paper in the 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.” (source)

Paris japonica

I am somewhat surprised that nobody seems yet to have attempted sequencing at least one of these “obese genomes”. Just for the curiosity
They have - both wheat and maize have been sequenced. What's nice about them is their similarity to rice, which has a much smaller genome but the genes are in the same order, so a pretty direct comparison can be made. Arthur - The transcriptome might look very different - I once visited the Carlsberg labs in Denmark, where they were sequencing the cDNA library from a fungus. They were saying that about 1/3rd of their sequences were SINEs - "junk" DNA. Heinrich
I am somewhat surprised that nobody seems yet to have attempted sequencing at least one of these “obese genomes”. Just for the curiosity…
It's not a trivial thing to arrange millions upon millions of bases of highly-repetitive DNA sequence into any sort of meaningful genome representation. OTOH, a full transcriptome would be relatively easy. And would probably look a whole lot (in terms of gene numbers and mRNA sequences) like most other plants. Arthur Hunt
I am somewhat surprised that nobody seems yet to have attempted sequencing at least one of these "obese genomes". Just for the curiosity... Have you seen those giant chromosomes? Amazing! gpuccio
Some more amazing trivia: Hairy Bacteria Walk and Talk Excerpt: Bacteria swim, but they also land on surfaces – and when they do, they put out little legs and walk. ,,, “What’s more, walking allows P. aeruginosa to move with trajectories optimized for surface exploration, so that they can forage more effectively.”,,, Some bacteria are “wired” with their own electrical intranet.,, Tiny microfilaments extend out between bacteria to provide a means of communication and mutual support – a kind of cellular FaceBook system. These create large “living biological circuits”,, made of “biological nanowires” that function just like social networks. http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201010.htm#20101012a This is just amazing,,, far from being the simple glob of protoplasm that Darwin had envisioned, bacteria is already known to exceed in complexity what man can do in his most advanced machines, and it seems that, far from being completely understood, the humble bacteria continues to mock our advances in technology by proving to have had these 'advanced capabilities' billions of years before we even arrived on the scene. bornagain77
Now that's a whole lotta junk DNA. Arthur Hunt
I know there's an ID argument that all "junk" DNA has a function. Would anyone like to speculate on the function of all this extra DNA in P. japonica? Heinrich
How horribly anthromorphic: 'tend to be a liability'. What they should say is that this is quite unexpected giving the streamlining properties of darwinian evolution. It is remarkable that this species does so well with this enormous genome. It actually seems that it is not so easy to shed parts of your genome, in eukaryotic cells in any case. Just like the introns-early theories that hypothesize that introns could not be lost because they have acquired a function. In the case of the Paris japonica, duplications of the genome could have acquired functions that prevented them to be lost. Is there any data that relates genome size to evolution? albertderoos
This post is wonderful (observing the brilliant designs of nature is one of my favorite pastimes), but allow me to pull a BA77 and post an off-topic article. This a column from Jerry Coyne in yesterday's USA Today. Science and religion aren't friends It is typical and terrible, probably just copied and pasted from previous writing just to keep the naturalist echo chamber alive. It will not convince a single educated listener of this debate on a single point. It is mainly scientific assertions of certainty (natural evolution is definitely true, we've figured out the brain, morality is about to be explained by physics, etc.) and horrendous theology (the Holocaust is apparently evidence of there being no God...to me it is evidence of our fallen nature and a need for redemption from God only, but that's just me). There are also gems like this:
Science operates by using evidence and reason. Doubt is prized, authority rejected.
And of course the argument from authority is never used by the natural evolutionist establishment, right? The fact that it does should prove that it is not science, according to this definition. uoflcard
Of related note, another DNA repair mechanism has been elucidated: DNA Performs the Linking Rings Trick - October 2010 Excerpt: “a sophisticated repair process is activated that uses the same DNA sequence on the matching chromosome,” the article explained. “One of the strands is stripped back, leaving an exposed single strand. The matching chromosome is brought alongside and partly unwound, and acts as a template to repair the broken piece.” Aside from the wonder at how protein machines can find a matching strand on another chromosome, when the chromosomes separate at points called Holliday junctions, the real magic happens. “To finish the process, the chromosomes have to separate – like the magician’s interlocking rings, one has to pass through the other.” Stephen Kowalczykowski, microbiology professor at UC Davis, remarked, “This protein complex does what magicians do.” http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201010.htm#20101011a Will some neo-Darwinist please try to explain to me again why their process, which is dependent on random mutations in the first place, would have so many overlapping layers of repair mechanisms preventing any sort of random mutations from happening in the first place??? ,,, Does this not strike you Darwinists as even a little bit odd? If not, why not? bornagain77
This makes me immediately think of the front-loading hypothesis. Dr. Dembski, are you a fan? What do you think about it and can this flower have something to say about it? Collin
Dr Dembski, I just emailed you but it bounced. Would you mind sending me an email please. ia. Gods iPod

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