http://www.bio.net/hypermail/MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION/lost of genes in primate

Jeffrey Mattox jeff at cher.heurikon.com
Thu Feb 29 12:49:23 EST 1996

In article <495 at reservoir.win-uk.net>,
Shane McKee <shane at reservoir.win-uk.net> wrote:
>... it is a fallacy to assume that "more DNA"
>means "More complex DNA". Much of salamander DNA is in the form of
>simple repeats. In this sense, the sentence "To be or not to be"
>is more complex than "asasasas dfdfdfdf ghghghghgh hjhjhjhjhj
>klklklk" for example. From all the crap in a salamander genome,
>you could compress the information required to "make" a salamander
>into a much smaller space than that to "make" a human. 

Tell me more about those repeats.  Where are they in the DNA (between
genes, introns, exons)?  How long, how many?

Why do you say "asasasas" is more complex than "to" (other than being
longer) or a sequence like "gjepffos"?  (I guess we are using the whole
alphabet here instead of just actg -- I'd prefer to compare DNA sequences
like "actactactact" vs. "tgacgtggacta".  In that light, why is DNA
"aaaaaa" more complex than, say, "actgtc"?)

>I don't see this as a paradox at all - it's just an interesting
>phenomenon. Any other thoughts? 

My example was the salamander, but there are other cases where genomes
have more genes but the organisms are though of as "less complex."  The
paradox is that the amount of DNA or the number of genes do not
correlate with "complexity."  Genetic complexity and physiological
complexity are not tightly coupled.


Jeffrey Mattox -- jeff at heurikon.com
Cartoon of the day: http://www.heurikon.com

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