Giant Genomes

An exploration of plants with giant genomes

fritilalriaLarge-scale comparative analyses of plant genome sizes have shown that plants with large genomes are at greater risk of extinction, are less adaptable to living in polluted soils, and are less able to tolerate extreme environmental conditions, clearly demonstrating that GS has ecological consequences which shape the distribution and persistence of biodiversity. Genome size in angiosperms (flowering plants) varies by an astonishing 2,400-fold range, the largest range for any comparable group (e.g. mammals and birds vary only 5- and 2-fold respectively). We aim to understand the underlying processes that give rise to plants with giant genomes.

We are interested in four research areas that address the causes and consequences of giant genomes, asking: [1] What sequences make up these giants? [2] Why plant genomes can become so huge (the largest of them all). [3] Why many giant genomes are found in  gymnosperms. [4] Why so many species with giant genomes  are rare and endangered. If you are interested in research into these areas please contact me.