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Scientists make great discovery in ferns

They have a genome of record size 160 billion base pairs of DNA, which when unfolded can measure nearly 100 meters.

Researchers from Spain, the United Kingdom and New Caledonia concluded that ferns (Tmesipteris oblanceolate) have a record-sized genome of 160 billion DNA base pairs, which when unfolded can measure nearly 100 meters.

The field work was published in the journal iScience, in which it is detailed that the experts took samples of the DNA of the fern plants and measured the amount of dye that bound to it, determining that the DNA of this plant, native to The island of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, even exceeds the human genome, which contains three billion base pairs and measures three meters.

Fun facts

Tmesipteris oblanceolate, (scientific name of the plant), is a fairly small living being and is part of an essential group of species that evolved long before dinosaurs inhabited the Earth.

On the other hand, the largest amount of animal and plant DNA is found coiled inside the nucleus of each cell. Thanks to it you can obtain essential information about how it works.

In nature, the genome of certain fish and salamanders has about 120 billion base pairs of DNA. While plants, not all have large genomes.

broke record

Likewise, it should be mentioned that the discovery earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Given this, Adam Millward, from the British company behind this work, said in an interview with the BBC that he was surprised by this feat. “To think that this harmless-looking fern has 50 times more DNA than humans is a humbling reminder that there is still a lot about the plant kingdom that we don't know. And that the record holders are not always the most attractive on the outside.”

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