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Name: Ashley
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: KS
Country: United States
Date: September 2007


Question:
Would a species with more genes be more advanced than a species with less genes?



Replies:
Not necessarily. There is no clear definition of what "more advanced" means, if anything, in evolution and adaptation. Evolution is not a directional process headed toward any thing we might as humans think of as "advance." More specifically to your question, if by advanced you mean more complex in structure or behavior, there is still no linear correlation between number of genes and complexity. This is an extremely interesting subject with lots of new discoveries and ideas emerging. See work by Richard Dawkins, Stephen J. Gould, Niles Eldredge and many others.

J. Elliott


A larger genome does not mean more advanced organisms. There have been many studies trying to understand why genome size does not correlate with organism complexity. To read more about this, do an internet search on "C-value enigma."

Notice I have said _genome size_ and not _number of genes_. It's relatively simple to calculate genome size. It's much more difficult to determine which sequences in an organism's DNA are actually producing proteins as opposed to those that are non-coding sequences. As a result, there's a lot more data on genome size than number of genes. Those organisms that have larger genomes do not necessarily have more genes.

Hope this helps,
Burr


There is no relationship between genome size and complexity; many single celled eucaryotes contain more DNA than a human cell. Although this seems paradoxical, the answer is that alot of DNA is non-coding DNA which we would not call genes. For example a human haploid cell contains enough DNA to code for approximately 500,000 genes but is estimated to contain only around 25-50 thousand genes. This excess DNA is referred to a "junk" DNA.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.


Are you talking about more genes, or more DNA in total? Most people would agree that humans are the most complex creatures, but we don't have significantly more genes than other animals. The estimated number of genes in humans is about 25,000 which is about the same as mice. The newest research shows that it's not necessarily how many genes you have, but which genes are expressed, or active.

kvanhoeck



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