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Explanation for largest mammalian genome found

Picture of a red vizcacha ratBen Evans, Biology, and team have found that repetitive DNA, not whole chromosome duplication, may be why the red vizcacha rat has the largest genome of all mammals. A native species of Argentina, the rats’ genome is roughly two-and-a-half times as large as the human genome, 102 chromosomes versus 46 for humans. That is twice the size of one of its closest relatives, the mountain vizcacha rat. The two species had a common ancestor as recently as five million years ago, which is a short period of time in evolutionary terms, according to Evans.

The analysis has implications for humans, as similar mechanisms have been observed in human DNA and and contribute to ‘genomic baggage’ or extra DNA. 

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

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Burke Science Building (BSB), Room 102
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

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Business Hours:
8:30AM - 12:00PM + 1:00PM - 4:30PM
Telephone Inquiries:
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(905) 546-9995
Student Inquiries:
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

Office of the Dean of Science
McMaster University
Burke Science Building (BSB), Room 102
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

Contact Information

Business Hours:
8:30AM - 12:00PM + 1:00PM - 4:30PM
Telephone Inquiries:
+1 (905) 525-9140 ext.22616
Fax:
(905) 546-9995
Student Inquiries:
science@mcmaster.ca