The advantages and disadvantages of being polyploid

  title={The advantages and disadvantages of being polyploid},
  author={Luca Comai},
  journal={Nature Reviews Genetics},
  • L. Comai
  • Published 1 November 2005
  • Biology
  • Nature Reviews Genetics
Polyploids — organisms that have multiple sets of chromosomes — are common in certain plant and animal taxa, and can be surprisingly stable. The evidence that has emerged from genome analyses also indicates that many other eukaryotic genomes have a polyploid ancestry, suggesting that both humans and most other eukaryotes have either benefited from or endured polyploidy. Studies of polyploids soon after their formation have revealed genetic and epigenetic interactions between redundant genes… 
The evolutionary significance of polyploidy
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 is discussed.
The evolutionary significance of ancient genome duplications
It is argued that ancient genome doublings could probably have survived only under very specific conditions, but that, whenever established, they might have had a pronounced impact on species diversification, and led to an increase in biological complexity and the origin of evolutionary novelties.
Polyploidy: adaptation to the genomic environment.
Recent progress in the study of the re-establishment of stable meiosis in recently evolved polyploids is reviewed, focusing on four plant species, and is revealing remarkable parallels among diverse taxa.
Polyploidy in fungi: evolution after whole-genome duplication
The genus Saccharomyces emerges as a relevant model for polyploid studies, in addition to plant and animal models, and is compared with the knowledge acquired with conventional plant andAnimal models.
Evolutionary genetics of genome merger and doubling in plants.
The profound effects of polyploidy on gene expression appear to be caused more by hybridity than by genome doubling, suggesting that there is an underlying set of principles governing the fates of duplicated genes.
Genomic Plasticity and the Diversity of Polyploid Plants
The ability to withstand large-scale changes, frequently within one or a few generations, is associated with a restructuring of the transcriptome, metabolome, and proteome and can result in an altered phenotype and ecology.
Genomic and expression plasticity of polyploidy.
Polyploid organisms
The formation of fertile polyploids not only promoted the interflow of genetic materials among species and enriched the species diversity, but also laid the foundation for polyploidy breeding.
Polyploidy in the Arabidopsis genus
The ability to integrate ecological and evolutionary questions with molecular and genetic understanding makes comparative analyses in this genus particularly attractive and holds promise for advancing the general understanding of polyploid biology.
Genetic and Genomic Interactions of Animals with Different Ploidy Levels
This issue reviews a few polyploid animal species or biotypes where recently developed molecular and cytogenetic methods have significantly improved the understanding of their genetics, reproduction and evolution.


Polyploidy and genome evolution in plants.
Novel patterns of gene expression in polyploid plants.
Polyploidy, evolutionary opportunity, and crop adaptation
Burgeoning genomic data for both botanical models and major crops offer new avenues for investigation of the molecular and phenotypic consequences of polyploidy, promising new insights into the role of this important process in the evolution of botanical diversity.
Formation of stable epialleles and their paramutation-like interaction in tetraploid Arabidopsis thaliana
It is shown that epialleles in tetraploid plants (but not in diploids) interact in trans and lead to heritable gene silencing persisting after segregation from the inactivating allele, which leads to the establishment of functional epigenetic homozygosity and to conversion of new recessive alleles into traits expressed in early polyploid generations.
Evolution by polyploidy and gene regulation in Anura.
The high genetic variability of autotetraploid anurans is a result of tetrasomic expression, based on studies of isozymes and other proteins, and Epigenetic mechanisms mediate the reduced expression or silencing of redundant copies of genes in the regulation of gene expression of these tetraploids.
Polyploidy and the evolution of gender dimorphism in plants.
It is proposed that polyploidy is a trigger of unrecognized importance for the evolution of gender dimorphism, which operates by disrupting self-incompatibility and leading to inbreeding depression.
The evolutionary dynamics of plant duplicate genes.
Mitotically unstable polyploids in the yeast Pichia guilliermondii
Attempts to obtain triploids or tetraploids of P. guilliermondii by sexual hybridization led to mitotically stable hybrids which were in fact aneuploids which obviously suffered drastic chromosome losses immediately after mating.
Aneuploidy and Genetic Variation in the Arabidopsis thaliana Triploid Response
It is demonstrated that triploids of A. thaliana are fertile, producing a swarm of different aneuploids, and can readily form tetraploids and function as bridges between euploid types.