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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Life and Universe

Junk DNA may not be needed for building complex life
ANI
Washington, May 14, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(14/5/2013)
Last Updated: 00:31 IST(14/5/2013)

Noncoding DNA, which has puzzled scientists for so many years, and is abundant in many living things, may not actually be needed for creation of complex life, according to researchers.

The clue is in the carnivorous bladderwort plant, Utricularia gibba's genome.

The scientists say that it seems that the plant has been busy deleting noncoding 'junk' DNA from its genetic material over many generations, which may explain differences between bladderworts and junk-heavy species like corn and tobacco and humans.

The study was directed by aboratorio Nacional de Genmica para la Biodiversidad (LANGEBIO) Director and Professor Luis Herrera-Estrella and UB Professor of Biological Sciences Victor Albert, with contributions from scientists in the United States, Mexico, China, Singapore, Spain and Germany.

Albert said that only 3 percent of the bladderworts genetic material is so-called junk DNA and somehow it has been able to get rid of most of what makes up plant genomes. He added that the results say that you can have a perfectly good multicellular plant with lots of different cells, organs, tissue types and flowers, and you can do it without the junk.


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