Next Article in Journal
Thermodynamics of Thermoelectric Phenomena and Applications
Previous Article in Journal
Second Law Analysis for Variable Viscosity Hydromagnetic Boundary Layer Flow with Thermal Radiation and Newtonian Heating
Entropy 2011, 13(8), 1465-1480; doi:10.3390/e13081465

Size of the Whole versus Number of Parts in Genomes

Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 22 July 2011 / Accepted: 28 July 2011 / Published: 5 August 2011
Download PDF [8585 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


It is known that chromosome number tends to decrease as genome size increases in angiosperm plants. Here the relationship between number of parts (the chromosomes) and size of the whole (the genome) is studied for other groups of organisms from different kingdoms. Two major results are obtained. First, the finding of relationships of the kind “the more parts the smaller the whole” as in angiosperms, but also relationships of the kind “the more parts the larger the whole”. Second, these dependencies are not linear in general. The implications of the dependencies between genome size and chromosome number are two-fold. First, they indicate that arguments against the relevance of the finding of negative correlations consistent with Menzerath-Altmann law (a linguistic law that relates the size of the parts with the size of the whole) in genomes are seriously flawed. Second, they unravel the weakness of a recent model of chromosome lengths based upon random breakage that assumes that chromosome number and genome size are independent.
Keywords: Menzerath-Altmann law; genome size; chromosomes Menzerath-Altmann law; genome size; chromosomes
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.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Hernández-Fernández, A.; Baixeries, J.; Forns, N.; Ferrer-i-Cancho, R. Size of the Whole versus Number of Parts in Genomes. Entropy 2011, 13, 1465-1480.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


Cited By

[Return to top]
Entropy EISSN 1099-4300 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert