Genome sizes in Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Euarchontoglires, and Laurasiatheria

C. A. Redi, H. Zacharias, S. Merani, M. Oliveira-Miranda, M. Aguilera, M. Zuccotti, S. Garagna, E. Capanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Topical literature and Web site databases provide genome sizes for ∼4,000 animal species, invertebrates and vertebrates, 330 of which are mammals. We provide the genome size for 67 mammalian species, including 51 never reported before. Knowledge of genome size facilitates sequencing projects. The data presented here encompassed 5 Metatheria (order Didelphimorphia) and 62 Eutheria: 15 Xenarthra, 24 Euarchontoglires (Rodentia), as well as 23 Laurasiatheria (22 Chiroptera and 1 species from Perissodactyla). Already available karyotypes supplement the haploid nuclear DNA contents of the respective species. Thus, we established the first comprehensive set of genome size measurements for 15 Xenarthra species (armadillos) and for 12 house-mouse species; each group was previously represented by only one species. The Xenarthra exhibited much larger genomes than the modal 3 pg DNA known for mammals. Within the genus Mus, genome sizes varied between 2.98 pg and 3.68 pg. The 22 bat species we measured support the low 2.63 pg modal value for Chiroptera. In general, the genomes of Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatheria were found being smaller than those of (Afrotheria and) Xenarthra. Interspecific variation in genome sizes is discussed with particular attention to repetitive elements, which probably promoted the adaptation of extant mammals to their environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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