August 8, 2013
Think you’re the end game for genetic complexity? I can’t blame you for venturing the guess, but no dice—even a lowly moss appears to beat us out at that one.
Compared to Homo sapiens, the moss Physcomitrella’s taking top honors with about 10,000 more genes than the human genome, which only tops out at just over 20,000. With its 32,000 genes, Physcomitrella’s “flagship genome”—as scientists are calling it—is now offering science hope for coping with global challenges brought on by climate change, from crop yields to drought tolerance and biofuel production.
But how can so many genes be useful? Click through for more. —MN
(Photo credit: Pflanzenbiotechnologie, Universitaet Freiburg)

Think you’re the end game for genetic complexity? I can’t blame you for venturing the guess, but no dice—even a lowly moss appears to beat us out at that one.

Compared to Homo sapiens, the moss Physcomitrella’s taking top honors with about 10,000 more genes than the human genome, which only tops out at just over 20,000. With its 32,000 genes, Physcomitrella’s “flagship genome”—as scientists are calling it—is now offering science hope for coping with global challenges brought on by climate change, from crop yields to drought tolerance and biofuel production.

But how can so many genes be useful? Click through for more. —MN

(Photo credit: Pflanzenbiotechnologie, Universitaet Freiburg)

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