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Our understanding of the evolution of DNA content in angiosperm plants has improved in recent years. Genomes in angiosperms vary in DNA content over 1000-fold. Variations in plant genome size are primarily due to differences in ancestral polyploidy and the periodic burst in activity of retroele- ments. Genomic data show a strong correlation between the size of genome and the amount of retroele- ments. Gene duplication have contributed to the functional divergence of the duplicates, and have become a strong evolutionary force. Genome size also correlates with the span of life cycle, duration of mitotic and meiotic cycles, and nuclear volumes. Reduction of genome size occurs in natural auto- and allopolyploids. Species with large genomes saturated with retroelements do not adapt well and are underrepresented in extreme environments. These species tend to diverge slowly and hence are threatened with extinction over time. The above findings provide basis for evolutionary trends to reduce nuclear genome size in plants.

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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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