Is "Junk" DNA Used to Provide Genetic Memory

Donald Graft dgraft at inca.gate.net
Sun May 8 07:54:44 EST 1994


In article <fiddick.768245397 at lifesci> fiddick at lifesci.lscf.ucsb.edu (Laurence Fiddick;x2791) writes:
>In <graulCoz9Hq.ILx at netcom.com> graul at netcom.com (Rick Graul) writes:
>
>>The purpose of "junk" DNA,
>>as I understand it, is to provide a reservoir of elements
>>which can be used by the organism for creating new genes.
>
>i'd be interested in any references you might have on the purpose of junk dna.
>presumably there is some cost to carrying junk dna, and i somehow find it
>hard to believe that natural selection can maintain it for such uncertain 
>long term interests--so any refs on this or any other arguments for the 
>adaptive value of junk dna would be appreciated.

Assuming the junk DNA confers greater adaptability in the face of
environmental and other change, wouldn't it be safe to assume that
species without it would be more likely to become extinct during change
and that therefore there is a selection pressure for the junk DNA?

Donald Graft



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