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Trends Plant Sci. 2011 Nov;16(11):624-34. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Molecular control and function of endoreplication in development and physiology.

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Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Gent, Belgium.


Endoreplication, also called endoreduplication, is a cell cycle variant of multicellular eukaryotes in which mitosis is skipped and cells repeatedly replicate their DNA, resulting in cellular polyploidy. In recent years, research results have shed light on the molecular mechanism of endoreplication control, but the function of this cell-cycle variant has remained elusive. However, new evidence is at last providing insight into the biological relevance of cellular polyploidy, demonstrating that endoreplication is essential for developmental processes, such as cell fate maintenance, and is a prominent response to physiological conditions, such as pathogen attack or DNA damage. Thus, endoreplication is being revealed as an important module in plant growth that contributes to the robustness of plant life.

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