How Much DNA Do We Share With Bananas? (2 Fascinating Banana Genetics Facts)

So, here’s a weird question, how much DNA do we share with bananas?

You may initially think that the answer would be zero, no DNA.

After all, a banana is not exactly known for its intelligent conversation!

And they can’t move in any way.

And does it even matter if we share any DNA?

However, you may be surprised at what I have found out!

Let’s take a look at the scientific facts.

How Much DNA Do We Share With Bananas?

Surprisingly, we are said to share between 50 and 60 percent of our DNA with bananas. However, the results of the research that revealed this statistic have never been published as a verified fact. The initial experiment studied gene sequencing in bananas to predict the protein that would be made from their genes. The results were then compared to human genes to spot any similarities. From over four million comparisons, 7000 potential matches were then analyzed further. This led to an estimate that approximately 60 percent of human genes had a match with a banana genome. 

Are Humans Genetically Related to Bananas?

To be fair, there is some confusion as to whether we share DNA with bananas.

And that is mainly because the difference between DNA and genes is not fully understood by most people.

The first thing to know is that genes tell a living organism how to develop and grow.

And in turn, the genes instruct DNA to make protein, known as sequencing.

It is by looking at any matches between human gene sequencing and that of bananas, that scientists can predict how much DNA is shared.

Are you still with me?

So, strictly speaking, we share 60 percent of our genes with bananas.

And these are the genes that are responsible for the most basic tasks.

These include helping cells divide for growth, controlling the cell’s life cycle, and replicating DNA.

In fact, nearly all living organisms share these standard genes.

We are not only genetically related to bananas but also most plants and animals.

At the heart of this, is the understanding that every single living creature has evolved from one single-cell creature that evolved over four million years ago.

Wow, it’s a lot to take in and make you look at the humble banana in a whole new light!

Why Does It Matter If We Share DNA With Bananas?

Well, this is all very interesting, but does it even matter if we share DNA with bananas.

The scientists certainly appear to think so.

The most important aspect is that it helps us diagnose and treat different diseases.

The type of DNA we share is called evolutionarily conserved and unfortunately is responsible for many diseases.

Learning the similarities between the genes of different plants and animals can help our understanding of genetics.

For example, one specific gene is called Dystrophin and mutations can cause Muscular Dystrophy.

The human Dystrophin gene is astonishingly 91 percent identical to that of mice!

So, who knows if, in the future, our beloved banana could be the key to curing genetic disease!

Do Humans Share Their DNA With Bananas?

Final Thoughts

Bananas are said to share up to 60 percent of their DNA with humans.

However, in reality, it is the gene sequence that has many similarities.

These genes are found in almost all living organisms, not just bananas.

This is because every creature evolved from just one single-cell organism millions of years ago.

By studying similar genes in plants and animals, it is hoped that genetic diseases can eventually be eradicated.

Your delicious banana is a lot more intelligent than you may think!

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