Genomes of Insects
The total complement of DNA in an insect is the genome. Nuclear genomes in insects consist of the chromosomes, consisting of DNA and proteins. The nuclear genome is the largest contributor of genetic information within an insect. However, mitochondria, which are organelles in the cytoplasm, also are components of the genome. Mitochondria are derived from bacteria that became essential symbionts of eukaryotic organisms and contain a number of genes essential to the insect. Finally, in addition to the nucleus and mitochondria, many insects contain intracellular and extracellular microorganisms that provide essential services to the insect. Symbionts may be bacteria, viruses, fungi or spiroplasmas that live in or on their insect hosts. Many insect symbionts are unable to survive outside their host and many insects cannot survive without the services of their symbionts. Thus, insects contain genetic information from several sources.
Nuclear Genome Size and Content
The nuclear genome is the...
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