Discovering the largest genome on Earth! Discovering the largest genome on Earth!

Discovering the largest genome on Earth!

Discovering the largest genome on Earth!
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An "unremarkable" fern growing on a remote Pacific island has reportedly set a Guinness World Record for having the largest genome of any living organism on Earth.

The New Caledonian fern, Tmesipteris oblanceolata, has more than 50 times more DNA packed into its cell nuclei than humans.

The scientists said that if the DNA from one of the fern cells, which is only a fraction of a millimeter wide, were unwound, it would extend 106 meters (by comparison, if our own DNA were unwrapped, it would be two meters long).

Elia Leach, co-author of the study and a researcher at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the United Kingdom, told AFP that the team was “really surprised to find something larger than the Japanese flowering plant Paris japonica. We thought we had already reached the biological limit.”

Jonathan Wendel, a botanist at Iowa State University who was not involved in the study, says the amount of DNA in the fern was "astonishing."

But he said there is a big mystery about the meaning of all this diversity: how do genomes grow and shrink, and what are the evolutionary causes and consequences of these phenomena?

It is worth noting that estimates indicate that humans have more than 30 trillion cells in the body.

Leach explained that inside each of these cells there is a nucleus that contains DNA, which is "an instruction book that tells an organism like us how to live and stay alive."

The study was published in the journal iScience.

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