Origins of Novel Phenotypic Variation in Polyploids

  • Patrick Finigan
  • Milos Tanurdzic
  • Robert A. Martienssen


Polyploid species represent a special type of organism in nature, one that can survive and compete with three or more full sets of homologous chromosomes. While less common in the animal and fungal kingdoms, polyploid species are highly prevalent in the plant kingdom. Indeed, most agricultural crops are polyploids, typically because polyploidy confers greater robustness and therefore higher yields. Among many examples of novel phenotypic variation exhibited by polyploids are the production of larger fruits, reduced tillering, delays in the reproductive transition, and even the creation of visually stunning flower pigmentation patterns coveted by gardeners. The source of this novel variation in polyploids is still largely unclear. However, multiple cellular mechanisms have been proposed, with some supporting evidence, to explain novel variation. We review some of these mechanisms here.


Megaspore Mother Cell Unreduced Gamete Diploid Progenitor POLYCOMB Repressive Complex Complex Nucleolar Dominance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Finigan
    • 1
  • Milos Tanurdzic
    • 1
  • Robert A. Martienssen
    • 1
  1. 1.Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryCold Spring HarborUSA

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