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Bioessays. 1999 Sep;21(9):761-7.

Rapid structural and epigenetic changes in polyploid and aneuploid genomes.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Billrothstrasse 11, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria.


Recent work with plants has demonstrated that genome instability can be triggered by a change in chromosome number arising from either whole genome duplications (polyploidy) or loss/gain of individual chromosomes (aneuploidy). This genome instability is manifested as rapid structural and epigenetic alterations that can occur somatically or meiotically within a few generations after heteroploid formation. The intrinsic instability of newly formed polyploid and aneuploid genomes has relevance for genome evolution and human carcinogenesis, and points toward recombinational and epigenetic mechanisms that sense and respond to chromosome numerical changes.

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