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Nat Rev Genet. 2017 Jul;18(7):411-424. doi: 10.1038/nrg.2017.26. Epub 2017 May 15.

The evolutionary significance of polyploidy.

Van de Peer Y1,2,3,4, Mizrachi E4,5, Marchal K1,3,5,6.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Technologiepark 927.
2
Center for Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Technologiepark 927.
3
Bioinformatics Institute Ghent, Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium.
4
Genomics Research Institute, University of Pretoria.
5
Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Pretoria 0028, South Africa.
6
Department of Information Technology, IDLab, imec, Ghent University, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

Polyploidy, or the duplication of entire genomes, has been observed in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, and in somatic and germ cells. The consequences of polyploidization are complex and variable, and they differ greatly between systems (clonal or non-clonal) and species, but the process has often been considered to be an evolutionary 'dead end'. Here, we review the accumulating evidence that correlates polyploidization with environmental change or stress, and that has led to an increased recognition of its short-term adaptive potential. In addition, we discuss how, once polyploidy has been established, the unique retention profile of duplicated genes following whole-genome duplication might explain key longer-term evolutionary transitions and a general increase in biological complexity.

PMID:
28502977
DOI:
10.1038/nrg.2017.26
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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