Just look at that banana genome Venn diagram

Just look at it.

The banana (Musa acuminata) genome and the evolution of monocotyledonous plants Angélique D’Hont, France Denoeud, Jean-Marc Aury, Franc-Christophe Baurens, Françoise Carreel, Olivier Garsmeur, Benjamin Noel, Stéphanie Bocs, Gaëtan Droc, Mathieu Rouard, Corinne Da Silva, Kamel Jabbari, Céline Cardi, Julie Poulain, Marlène Souquet, Karine Labadie, Cyril Jourda, Juliette Lengellé, Marguerite Rodier-Goud, Adriana Alberti, Maria Bernard, Margot Correa, Saravanaraj Ayyampalayam, Michael R. Mckain, Jim Leebens-Mack et al. Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11241


  1. I loved that the banana shape was included as a background, then I loved it even more when I realised it was part of the diagram!

  2. But what part of the diagram tells me, a Swing Voter, what part of the banana Obama promised and what part he delivered?

    1. Somebody had to bring that up didn’t they. A guy abuses a diagrammatic convention only once, all hell breaks loose and they never let him forget it. Hasn’t he suffered enough? Won’t somebody think of his children?

  3. The banana is perfectly adapted  to demonstrate a six component Venn diagram. This clearly cannot be an accident. I declare evolution falsified.

  4. Periodically I see figures that we share 75% of our DNA with dogs, and 97% with chimps.    Apparently we share 50% to 60% with bananas.  

    1. My (admittedly layman’s) undertanding is that you are hard-pressed to have a functional eukaryotic metabolism without ~50% commonality with just about everything else that does(especially if the percentage numbers only count nuclear DNA, and thus obfuscate the difference between things with mitochondria and things with chloroplasts…)

      It’s actually pretty remarkable how much of the genome codes essential-but-boring life support functions, and how little appears to be at play for the sophisticated, high-level functions that get the philosophers worked up…

  5. Musa Acuminata (Cavendish) is the common banana most of us are used to in the grocery in the US.  Actually it’s usually a hybrid Musa acuminata × balbisiana, not shown here. A fruit with almost as much blood on its hands as the catholic church…

    1. Yes. What this is is a six-way Venn diagram showing the distribution of shared gene families across multiple plant genomes, including banana, which has just been sequenced. The take home message is that while many families are universal (no surprise), there is a surprisingly large number of families (2809, center upper left), specific to the Poaceae, the family of plants that include banana, rice, and sorghum.

      1. Just a slight self correction — bananas are actually members of family Musaceae, and what makes it surprising is that it suggests a closer relationship between them and the Poaceae.

    1. It doesn’t work that way in science — you don’t have many authors because a paper is long — you have many authors because it look that many scientists to get the results. Besides, this is in Nature, which has strict limits on the length of articles — which means that most of the actual data and analysis is hidden in the “supplemental information” and the paper itself almost an abstract.

  6. Two things.

    First, there must be some sort of meta-message behind all of these banana posts from Cory.  A secret code, perhaps, wrapped up in the first character of the image’s metadata or something more/less technical.

    Second, that is a really cool diagram.

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