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Developmental Correlates of Genome Size in Plethodontid Salamanders and Their Implications for Genome Evolution

Stanley K. Sessions and Allan Larson
Evolution
Vol. 41, No. 6 (Nov., 1987), pp. 1239-1251
DOI: 10.2307/2409090
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409090
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Developmental Correlates of Genome Size in Plethodontid Salamanders and Their Implications for Genome Evolution
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Abstract

We present an analysis of the evolutionary relationship between genome size (C-value, mass of DNA per haploid nucleus) and developmental rate using observations of limb regeneration in salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. Rates of growth and differentiation of regenerating limbs are reported for 27 plethodontid species whose C-values range from 14 to 76 picograms. A phylogenetic analysis employing Felsenstein's method of independent contrasts indicates that rate of differentiation is inversely proportional to genome size, although we have not identified any statistically significant association between genome size and the growth rate of regenerating tissue. Our results are consistent with an interpretation that genome size may place a limit on the maximum rate of regeneration attainable in plethodontid salamanders. The implications of our findings for the "junk DNA," "nucleotypic DNA," "selfish DNA," and "skeletal DNA" hypotheses of genome evolution are discussed.

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