Lessons from natural versus experimentally Induced polyploids

M Hegarty, J Coate, S Sherman-Broyles, Richard John Abbott, S Hiscock, J Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-225
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Epigenetics
  • Glycine
  • Polyploidy
  • Senecio
  • Transcriptome


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