The Insect with the Smallest Genome Is Found In Antarctica

August 13, 2014 11:32 AM

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The Insect with the Smallest Genome Is Found In Antarctica

There is only one type of native insect found in Antarctica; Antarctic midge. These are small wingless bugs that survive in the extreme conditions in Antarctic with impunity. And they also have the smallest DNA sequence found in any animal till date. They have no more than 99 million base pairs of nucleotides. Other insects with small genomes are body lice with 105 million base pairs and Strepsiptera, a winged parasite that has 108 million base pairs.

The tiny genome in the midge may be a result of the harsh conditions that the midge had had to adapt to. They spend nearly two years of its larval stage frozen in ice, after attaining adulthood it lives for 10 days, they spend this time by mating and laying eggs. They are exposed to intense ultravio...

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