, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 43-51

Mirrored Genome Size Distributions in Monocot and Dicot Plants

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The variation in genome size and basic chromosome number was analyzed in the wide range of angiosperm plants. A divergence of monocots vs. dicots (eudicots) genome size distributions was revealed. A similar divergence was found for annual vs. perennial dicots. The divergence of monocots vs. dicots genome size distributions holds at different taxonomic levels and is more pronounced for species with larger genomes. Using nested analysis of variance, it was shown that putative constraints on genome size variation are not only stronger in dicots as compared to monocots but in the former they start to operate already at the family level, whereas in the latter they do so only at the order level. At the same time, variation in basic chromosome number is constrained at the order level in both groups. Higher basic chromosome numbers were found in perennial plants as compared to the annual ones, which can be explained by their need for a higher genetic recombination as compensation for the longer life-cycles. A negative correlation was found between genome size and basic chromosome number, which can be explained as a trade-off between different recombination mechanisms.