Jean-François Flot

Title: Intraspecific genome size diversity in animals

Abstract: It is usually considered (and often taught in BSc courses) that each
species of animal has a characteristic genome size. As a result, much
research has focused on elucidating the causes and consequences of
interspecific differences in genome size, whereas almost no study ever
looked at intraspecific differences. Thanks to the availability of a new
Feulgen-based protocol to measure genome sizes with high precision, my
group at the Université libre de Bruxelles has embarked on a study of
intraspecific genome size variation in various groups of animals
including corals, sponges, arthropods and vertebrates. Our first results
suggests that intraspecific genome size variations are commonplace, and
that there may be no such thing as “the genome size of a species”.