World’s largest genome – level 1

06-06-2024 07:00

A fern from New Caledonia has the largest genome of any living thing.

The genome is all DNA. This genome is 100 meters long. If you stretch it out, it is taller than Big Ben. It is amazing that a small plant has so much DNA. The fern is called Tmesipteris oblanceolate. It lives before dinosaurs. It grows on trees in rainforests. Its genome size is 160 billion base pairs. People have only about 3 billion base pairs. The fern has three world records for its large genome.

Studying this can help scientists understand how plants work. Big genomes need more things to live. It can be harder for these plants to survive if the weather changes.

Difficult words: fern (a green plant with no flowers), DNA (the molecule which carries information of an organism), stretch out (to spread).

You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.

What are the three world records that the Tmesipteris oblanceolate fern holds in relation to its large genome?


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