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Older specimen of Pond Pine

Deciphering the genome of the loblolly pine is a tall order, as is perhaps fitting for a tree that can grow to be 30 meters in height.

Researchers sequenced the conifer’s (Pinus taeda) approximately 24 billion bases of DNA, Steven Salzberg of Johns Hopkins University reported May 10. That surpasses the previous record holder, wheat, by more than 7 billion bases. The DNA is distributed over 12 chromosomes, each about two-thirds the size of the entire human genome. [1]

If complexity is the way to measure evolution, what are we taught by the fact that some “lower level” organisms like plants have more complex genome than we do?

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