How much DNA is in various cells?

Structures Inside Cells Read more from
Chapter Cellular Basics

The amount of DNA that a cell must accommodate is significant—even for smaller organisms. For example, enough DNA is in the typical E. coli bacterium cell to encircle it more than 400 times. To compare, a typical human cell contains enough DNA to wrap around the cell more than 15,000 times. To look at it another way, if the DNA in a single human cell were stretched out and laid end to end, it would measure approximately 6.5 feet (2 meters). Thus, the average adult human body contains 10 to 20 billion miles (16 to 32 billion kilometers) of DNA distributed among trillions of cells. If the total DNA in all the cells from one human was unraveled, it would stretch to the Sun and back more than 600 times.


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