Living Reference Work Entry

Molecular Life Sciences

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Date: Latest Version

Genomic Sequence and Structural Diversity in Plants

  • Candice N. HirschAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota Email author 


Plant genomes can tolerate a wide range of variation derived from accumulation of mutations, hybridization, polyploidization, and other mechanisms. It is this diversity that underlies the array of phenotypes observed not only across the Plantae kingdom but also within each species. Characterization of sequence level variation (single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions/deletions, presence/absence variation, copy number variation, and inversions) allows for the association of specific sequence variants with resulting phenotypes, understanding of genetic pathways, rapid varietal improvement by plant breeders, and continuing insight into basic biological phenomenon. The following essay describes the sequence and structural diversity within plant genomes and the implications and applications of this diversity.


The phenotypic diversity exhibited within plant species has been widely documented. It is this diversity that has allowed plants to be used for human and animal c ...

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