‘Innocuous-looking’ fern wins world record for largest genome

PARIS: A small, seemingly unremarkable fern that only grows on a remote Pacific island was on Friday crowned the Guinness World Record holder for having the largest genome of any organism on Earth.

The New Caledonian fern, Tmesipteris oblanceolata, has more than 50 times more DNA packed into the nucleus of its cells than humans do.

If the DNA from one of the fern´s cells — which are just a fraction of a millimetre wide — were unravelled, it would stretch out to 106 metres (350 feet), scientists said in a new study.

Stood upright, the DNA would be taller that than the tower that holds London´s famous Big Ben bell.

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