Dr. T. Ryan Gregory, Dept. Integrative Biology, Univ of Guelph
The extraordinary diversity in genome sizes (haploid nuclear DNA contents, or “C-values”) among eukaryote species has remained a major puzzle in genetics for over 60 years. The size of a genome size bears no relationship to the number of coding genes it contains or to the complexity of the organism in which it is found, a finding so surprising to early researchers that it became known as the “C-value paradox”. While the discovery of non-coding DNA has solved this paradox, it has raised a series of new questions regarding the origins, mechanisms of spread and loss, phenotypic consequences, and reasons for differential abundance of non-coding DNA in different species. This seminar explores these questions, with a particular emphasis on the connection between genome size and such important phenotypic characteristics as cell size, body size, metabolism, and development in animals.