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What does a worm want with 20,000 genes?

Jonathan Hodgkin

Author affiliations

Genetics Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK

Citation and License

Genome Biology 2001, 2:comment2008-comment2008.4  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-11-comment2008

Published: 17 October 2001


The number of genes predicted for the Caenorhabditis elegans genome is remarkably high: approximately 20,000, if both protein-coding and RNA-coding genes are counted. This article discusses possible explanations for such a high value.