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Biotech Science

Pine Tree Has Largest Genome Ever Sequenced 71

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Using a single pollinated pine seed, researchers have sequenced the entire genome of the loblolly pine tree--and it's a doozy. The tree's genome is largest yet sequenced: 22.18 billion base pairs, more than seven times longer than the human genome. The team found that 82% of the genome was made up of duplicated segments, compared with just 25% in humans. The researchers also identified genes responsible for important traits such as disease resistance, wood formation, and stress response."
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Pine Tree Has Largest Genome Ever Sequenced

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  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Friday March 21, 2014 @01:14AM (#46540881) Homepage Journal

    While the set of large-genomed organisms does include some very sophisticated trees and flowers, it also includes several species of amoeba... so I wouldn't panic just yet.

    All a big genome really means for certain is that you're good enough at finding food that you can support it. The substance is a lot more important—some species of shrimp, for example, have 88 or 92 chromosomes, but they're mostly redundant duplicates. Wheat has five copies of every chromosome, too.

    Plants tend to have large genomes because they reproduce so rapidly—a field of corn has enough offspring every season to mutate every nucleotide in the whole kit and kaboodle at least once, and because they have very static, slow existences, they can afford to tune themselves very well to their environments. That's what the genes and duplicates are for—giving the plant very fine-grained control over things like how it prepares for the next season based on the weather from the last one.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall