Nov 18, 2019, 12:49 pm – Posted on Nov 18, 2019, 12:48 pm
It is the blue atlas butterfly from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Its scientific name is Polyommatus atlantica. The insect has 226 pairs of chromosomes. Humans, by comparison, have 23 pairs.
Vegetables achieve even more absurd numbers: Ophioglossum reticulatum – a relative of ferns – has 620 pairs of chromosomes. It is the record of the visible world. In the microscopic world, the ciliated protozoan Oxytricha trifallax has its DNA fragmented into about 16,000 chromosomes.
Remember that the number of chromosomes says nothing about the complexity of the organism. Having many small chromosomes is the same as having few large chromosomes. You can split a 600 page book into three 200 chapters, or split a 300 page book into 10 30 chapters.
It also makes no difference the total length of the genome (ignoring the subdivisions). Sugarcane DNA has 10 billion base pairs, compared to 3 billion in humans. In the end, what determines the characteristics of living things are the biochemical interactions between the proteins encoded by each gene, and the moment each of them is activated during development.