Genome sizes and genomic guanine+cytosine (GC) contents of the Czech vascular flora with new estimates for 1700 species

Petr Šmarda 1 , Ondřej Knápek 1 , Alexandra Březinová 1 , Lucie Horová 1 , Vít Grulich 1 , Jiří Danihelka 2 1 , Pavel Veselý 1 , Jakub Šmerda 1 , Olga Rotreklová 1 & Petr Bureš 1


  1. Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, CZ-61137 Brno, Czech Republic
  2. Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Zámek 1, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic

Published: 20 June 2019 ,

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The content of DNA in the somatic, unreplicated cell nuclei (genome size) and DNA base composition (GC content) are the basic genomic parameters that can be measured by flow cytometry. Genome size, or ploidy level, can affect many plant properties and are therefore included as important features in modern biological floras and plant trait databases. However, genomic data are still largely measured mainly for taxonomic and biosystematic purposes, and despite the popularity of flow cytometry in the Czech Republic, this information is still missing for many of the vascular plants in the Czech flora. The biological significance of the GC content is less clear compared to the genome size, which, along with the greater difficulty in measuring it, results in the absence of such information for the vast majority of species. Here, we measure these two genomic parameters for 1908 samples of 1700 species in the Czech vascular flora. Here for the first time are reported the genome sizes of more than 1000 species and GC contents of more than 1500 species, which more than doubles the amount of information on the GC content of vascular plants. Together with the published data obtained in our laboratory using the same methods and flow cytometers, this information is now available for 1910 species that occur in the Czech Republic (~83% of this country’s permanent flora, excluding apomicts). They are summarized in a table, accompanied by information about assumed chromosome number, ploidy level and an estimate of the monoploid genome size. We further provide a descriptive analysis of this dataset, list extreme values and comment on some cytogeographically interesting findings. This dataset is the largest and most comprehensive set of genomic data covering almost the entire flora of a country. It will serve as the basis of the karyological traits section of the Czech plant trait database Pladias ( and for testing of hypotheses about the evolution and biological relevance of these genomic parameters.


chromosome number, Czech Republic, DNA base composition, DNA content, flow cytometry, GC content, genome size, life form, polyploidy, vascular plants

How to cite

Šmarda P., Knápek O., Březinová A., Horová L., Grulich V., Danihelka J., Veselý P., Šmerda J., Rotreklová O. & Bureš P. (2019) Genome sizes and genomic guanine+cytosine (GC) contents of the Czech vascular flora with new estimates for 1700 species. – Preslia 91: 117142,