Animal with the Most Genes? A Water Flea
The animal with the most genes (so far) is the tiny crustacean Daphnia pulex (water flea). Nearly invisible to human eyes, Daphnia is intriguing in many ways—its genes turn on and off readily when its aquatic environment changes, one third of its genes are new to science and it can reproduce with or without males. It also has many genes in common with humans, suggesting it might make a good model organism to reveal how environmental pollutants affect people.
Caption: The nearly microscopic water flea (Daphnia pulex) contains 8,000 more genes than humans.
Michael Pfrender - University of Notre Dame
Credits: Jan Michels, Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel,
Research Stir, S.P.C.