Tuesday, June 18, 2024
name of Prensa Latina
Bandera inglesa
English Edition
Close this search box.
name of Prensa Latina



A fern is the living being that produces the most DNA

London, Jun 3 (Prensa Latina) A fern known as Tmesipteris oblanceolate is the living being that produces the most DNA in the world with a genome of record size: 160 billion base pairs.

According to the research carried out on this plant that lives on the island of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, and published in the journal Science, the human genome contains about three billion base pairs and can reach three meters, while that of the fern measures about 100 meters.

The experts point out that the Tmesipteris oblanceolate belongs to a primordial group of plants that evolved long before the dinosaurs inhabited the Earth, and they are surprised by such an “incredible” amount of DNA for a small tree “that people would hardly notice if they passed it while walking”.

“It is the largest genome yet discovered in any living organism on the planet and has 50 times more DNA than humans,” Ilia Leitch of London’s Kew Gardens Botanic Gardens told the BBC.

Scientists point out that not all plants have large genomes, and in the case of large trees such as the oak, if all the DNA in a single cell were stretched out, it would measure just 66 centimeters.

“This genetic material, or genome, provides all the information that the organism needs to function, stored in long strands of DNA called chromosomes,” they explained.

They also point out that there is variation in the size of the genome of each living being: in the animal kingdom, some of the largest genomes correspond to certain fish and salamanders, with around 120 billion base pairs.