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Measuring genome complexity

Richard Gordon gordonr at cc.umanitoba.ca
Wed Mar 13 21:32:03 EST 1996

At  5:49 PM 2/29/96 +0000, Jeffrey Mattox wrote:
>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

Genetic complexity should perhaps be defined at a higher level than the DNA
sequence. If one looks at embryo differentiation as a tree of gene cascades
(Gordon, R., N. K. Bjorklund & P. D. Nieuwkoop (1994). Dialogue on
embryonic induction and differentiation waves. Int. Rev. Cytol. 150,
373-420), and assumes that the differentiation tree represents most of the
genome (except, perhaps, for housekeeping genes), then a rationale for
measuring and comparing complexity might be forthcoming.
-Dick Gordon

Richard Gordon, Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba
ON104, HSC, 820 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada
Phone: (204) 789-3828,  Fax: (204) 787-2080, E-mail: GordonR at cc.UManitoba.ca

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