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Junk DNA

Stephen A. Karl karl at CHUMA.CAS.USF.EDU
Fri Aug 4 16:58:23 EST 1995

   Michael Zwick brought up several interesting aspects of "junk DNA" in
Drosophila.  Not as an argument against his ideas but as an interesting
point:  Drosophila genome organization is not typical of all (or maybe
even most) metazoan groups (for a first grab at this thread see the oldie
but goodie Davidson et al. 1975. Comparative aspects of DNA organization
in metazoa.  Chromosoma 51:253-259 also see Ginatulin et al.  1980.
Comparative analysis of DNA sequence organization in the vertebrate
genome. Genetica 52/53:119-126).  Since the application of the term "Junk
DNA" is not currently restricted to a specific group of organisms, to
understand what "Junk DNA" is or does requires drawing inferences from
several different sources (of "Junk DNA") in order for it to be accurately
characterize.  My personal opinion is that the term "Junk DNA" is not an
useful term and quite possibly should be abandoned because it does not
refer to a single group with unifying characteristics.  To make the term
useful we need to modify it by add qualifiers such as "Drosophila Junk 
DNA" or "Xenopus Junk DNA."

Stephen Karl
Department of Biology
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, LIF 169
Tampa, Florida 33620-5150
Voice (813) 974-1592
Fax   (813) 974-3263
EMail Karl at .chuma.cas.usf.edu

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