Carnivorous plants have got rid of junk DNA in its genome


14/05/2013

Biologists have decoded the genome of carnivorous plants and found it junk DNA, which, as previously thought, regulates the genes of multicellular organisms.

For more information about the results of research carried out an international group of scientists from China, Mexico, the United States and several other countries are presented in the journal Nature.

Genome regions, which are not encoded RNA or protein called junk DNA. This DNA is in most eukaryotic organisms of the genome (it refers, for example, 98% of the human DNA). What are its functions, not yet been established, but due to the fact that non-coding DNA in the course of evolution has not disappeared from the genome, it is necessary to eukaryotes are thought to regulate genes.

However, the authors of the article found in the wild multi-cellular organism that has no need for junk DNA. This plant was humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), a carnivorous plant of small size, which grows mainly in ponds and feed on small invertebrates, hunting them with the help of special bubbles. Deciphering its genome, the researchers found that junk DNA makes it a mere 3%.

The coding sequences or genes occupy the remaining 97% of the genome of pemphigus. They have plants like papaya and grapes 28500. But in view of the refusal of pemphigus of junk DNA, its genome has become significantly shorter. Utricularia gibba is not more than 80 million nucleotide pairs, is much less than other types of known plant.

It should be noted that the study results are controversial, because they do not correspond to the findings of a large-scale project ENCODE, which allowed scientists to determine that the junk DNA is vital to the process of "switching" of genes. "Pemphigus is a plant with differentiated cells, tissues and flowers with different types of junk DNA but it still is not necessary," - said one of the study authors Victor Albert.


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