Genome Size Estimation and Quantitative Cytogenetics in Insects

  • J. Spencer Johnston
  • Angelina Bernardini
  • Carl E. HjelmenEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1858)


With care, it is possible using flow cytometry to create a precise and accurate estimate of the genome size of an insect that is useful for genomics, genetics, molecular/cell biology, or systematics. Genome size estimation is a useful first step in a complete genome sequencing project. The number of sequencing reads required to produce a given level of coverage depends directly upon the 1C amount of DNA per cell, while an even more critical need is an accurate 1C genome size estimate to compare against the final assembly. Here we present a detailed protocol to estimate genome size using flow cytometry. Published genome size estimates should be submitted to so that they are available to all.

Key words

Flow cytometry Chromatin structure Endopolyploidy Underreplication Chromosomal sex determination Sexual dimorphism Ploidy Cryptic species 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Spencer Johnston
    • 1
  • Angelina Bernardini
    • 2
  • Carl E. Hjelmen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Program in GeneticsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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