The right stuff: evidence for an ‘optimal’ genome size in a wild grass population

Beaulieu, J.M. (2010) The right stuff: evidence for an ‘optimal’ genome size in a wild grass population. New Phytologist, 187 (4). pp. 883-885.

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The immense variation exhibited in plant genome size is remarkable. In flowering plants alone, the observed variation in genome size (i.e. the total amount of DNA in an unreplicated nucleus) is huge, ranging from 0.630 Gbp (billion base pairs) to almost 125 Gbp – a difference of nearly 2000-fold. However, despite this immense variation, the cumulative distribution of genome sizes in plants is significantly skewed towards smaller sizes. A natural corollary is that the skewed distribution is an indication of large genomes being disadvantageous (Knight et al., 2005). It has long been proposed that genome size has measurable phenotypic and ecological consequences which are mediated through its effect on cellular parameters (such as nuclear volume, meiotic and mitotic duration, and cell size), leading some to suggest that genome size can have a nongenic role in the functioning of an organism (Bennett, 1972).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fitness, Genome size variation, Perennial grass, Phenotypic and ecological consequences, Plant genome size, Stabilizing selection.
Author Affiliation: Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, USA.
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 01 Jan 2013 10:30
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2013 10:30
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