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Largest genome found in flower

by webdev

October 08, 2010

Researchers at London's Kew Gardens have found the largest recorded genome in a small, simple looking flower, according to

The Paris japonica has a genetic code that is 50 times longer than that of a human being. If it were stretched, it would stretch taller than London's Big Ben, according to the news source.

A genome is an entire mapping of an organism's DNA. It contains the genetic instructions for an orgasim's development and function.

But its not all good news for scientists and flower lovers, "Having a large genome increases the risk of extinction. The larger it is, the more at risk you are," Ilia Leitch, a researcher at Kew, told Reuters.

The risk is due to the fact that the more DNA there is in a genome, the longer it takes for a cell to copy all of its DNA and divide. Furthermore, plants with large genomes have more difficulty living in polluted soil, or tolerating extreme environmental conditions, reports the news source.

The Paris japonica, a white-flowered Japanese house plant, is fairly slow-growing and can take up to two or three years after planting to appear, according to


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