When the maize genome paper came out last November (see the summary of this blog’s maize day coverage) it included information on 32,690 genes within the maize genome. These were the genes which the researchers involved in sequencing the genome were very confident really were genes. And by themselves those 30,000+ genes put the maize genome way ahead of our own. Of course EVERY plant genome ever sequenced has contained more genes than we do, so you’d think by now this wouldn’t be news any more. We’re not the most genetically complex creatures on the planet, and we’ll just have to learn to live with that fact.
But where was I? Oh yeah, gene counts. 32,690 high confidence genes*. Of those, how many have been studied individually?