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Genes Genet Syst. 2005 Oct;80(5):345-50.

An upper limit of the ratio of DNA volume to nuclear volume exists in plants.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Japan.


The variations in nuclear DNA content from 2 x 10(2) to 2.5 x 10(5) Mbp are reported in higher plants. The major finding so far is that the genome size of plant species differs by three orders of magnitude, which are more variable than the other organisms. Investigations pertaining to the manner in which DNA is packaged in the nucleus provide us with basic information on the made of DNA existence in the plant nucleus. However, the fundamentals on nuclear DNA content and nuclear size, which underlie and enable the flexible containment of such large differences in nuclear DNA content, remain unknown. We analyzed the nuclear volumes of plants with 2C value DNA contents ranging from 3.2 x 10(2) to 1.0 x 10(5) Mbp. As a result, we obtained a constant ratio between the DNA volume and nuclear volume, which does not exceed 3%. Furthermore, we also demonstrate that the nuclear Rabl model of chromatin organisation is not a common 3-D structure, even in plants with large nuclear DNA contents. The existence of an upper limit of DNA volume ratio would present a basal parameter for the future insight into the nuclear organisation in higher plants.

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