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Keywords:

  • genome;
  • chromosomes;
  • junk DNA;
  • self-organization;
  • language

Abstract

Chromosomes exhibit several features indicating that its spatiotemporal dynamics is self-organized. It has been recently suggested that a negative correlation between genome size and mean chromosome number would also be a fingerprint of selforganization, related to how human language is organized at the level of words and syllables. However, the vast dominance of non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes should prevent an interpretation of genome/chromosome size based on functional trade-offs related to information storage and transmission. Moreover, the reported negative correlation is shown to be an inevitable consequence of the definitions of chromosome and genome length and it is thus unrelated to any type of special generative process. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity 16: 20–23, 2010