Monday, May 13, 2013

Carnivorous plant throws out "junk" DNA

Genes make up about 2% of the human genome. The rest consists of a genetic material known as noncoding DNA, and scientists have spent years puzzling over why this material exists in such voluminous quantities.

Now, a new study offers an unexpected insight: The large majority of noncoding DNA, which is abundant in many living things, may not actually be needed for complex life, according to research set to appear in Nature.

The clues lie in the genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant, Utricularia gibba.

The U. gibba genome is the smallest ever to be sequenced from a complex, multicellular plant. The researchers who sequenced it say that 97% of the genome consists of genes—bits of DNA that code for proteins—and small pieces of DNA that control those genes.

Click for full article
Subscribe to NBIC News