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Genetics. 1974 Feb; 76(2): 327–338.
PMCID: PMC1213069

Population Studies in Microorganisms I. Evolution of Diploidy in SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE


The relative adaptation of isogenic haploid and diploid strains of yeast was investigated in different sets of physiological conditions. When all nutrients were present in excess, no difference in the reproductive rates of isogenic haploid and diploid strains of yeast was detected in both optimal and non-optimal growth conditions. Competition between haploid and diploid strains of yeast was observed when growth was limited by the concentration of a single nutrilite. Under certain conditions when fitness (reproductive rate) is determined by transport of an essential nutrilite that exists in very low concentrations, diploid cells were selected against. These environmental conditions are similar to those found in offshore marine environments where nutrients are often present in extremely low concentrations. The fitness of diploid cells was estimated to be.93 ±.02 (haploid fitness = 1). The reduced fitness of diploid cells in this environment can be explained by the reduced surface area/volume ratio possessed by diploid cells in comparison to haploid cells. The fitnesses of haploid and diploid cells in these environments are closely correlated with geometric variations in these strains. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that diploid cells are simply double haploids, and diploidy per se does not confer any direct adaptive advantage. The mechanism of the evolution of diploidy as a dominant phase in the life cycle of higher plants and animals remains obscure.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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