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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2013;140(2-4):204-25. doi: 10.1159/000353361. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Lessons from natural and artificial polyploids in higher plants.

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IBERS, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK. ayh @


Polyploidy in higher plants is a major source of genetic novelty upon which selection may act to drive evolution, as evidenced by the widespread success of polyploid species in the wild. However, research into the effects of polyploidy can be confounded by the entanglement of several processes: genome duplication, hybridisation (allopolyploidy is frequent in plants) and subsequent evolution. The discovery of the chemical agent colchicine, which can be used to produce artificial polyploids on demand, has enabled scientists to unravel these threads and understand the complex genomic changes involved in each. We present here an overview of lessons learnt from studies of natural and artificial polyploids, and from comparisons between the 2, covering basic cellular and metabolic consequences through to alterations in epigenetic gene regulation, together with 2 in-depth case studies in Senecio and Glycine. See also the sister article focusing on animals by Arai and Fujimoto in this themed issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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