3 tera-basepairs as a fundamental limit for robust DNA replication

M. Al Mamun, L. Albergante, J. J. Blow, T. J. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to maintain functional robustness and species integrity, organisms must ensure high fidelity of the genome duplication process. This is particularly true during early development, where cell division is often occurring both rapidly and coherently. By studying the extreme limits of suppressing DNA replication failure due to double fork stall errors, we uncover a fundamental constant that describes a trade-off between genome size and architectural complexity of the developing organism. This constant has the approximate value N U ≈ 3 × 1012 basepairs, and depends only on two highly conserved molecular properties of DNA biology. We show that our theory is successful in interpreting a diverse range of data across the Eukaryota.
Original languageEnglish
Article number046002
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


  • DNA replication
  • double fork stalls
  • embryo development
  • eutely
  • polyploidy
  • robustness
  • theoretical analysis

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