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Journal of Botany
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 390414, 4 pages
Research Article

Genome Size Is a Strong Predictor of Root Meristem Growth Rate

Department of Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA

Received 23 December 2009; Accepted 5 March 2010

Academic Editor: Johann Greilhuber

Copyright © 2010 Adam Gruner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Variation in genome size (GS) has been linked to several facets of the plant phenotype. Recently it was shown that GS is significantly correlated with cell size and the duration of the cell cycle. Here we test the hypothesis that GS might also be a predictor of apical root meristem growth rate (RMGR). We studied eight species of eudicots with varying GS using time-lapse microscopic image analysis. A significant negative exponential relationship was observed between GS and RMGR. Our results show significantly decreased RMGR for large genome species. This relationship represents a significant consequence of GS expansion in plants and may partly explain why genome sizes tend to be small in eudicots. Interestingly, parasitic plants, which do not rely on root growth as much, often have large genomes.