Polyploidy and genome evolution in plants

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Apr;8(2):135-41. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2005.01.001.


Genome doubling (polyploidy) has been and continues to be a pervasive force in plant evolution. Modern plant genomes harbor evidence of multiple rounds of past polyploidization events, often followed by massive silencing and elimination of duplicated genes. Recent studies have refined our inferences of the number and timing of polyploidy events and the impact of these events on genome structure. Many polyploids experience extensive and rapid genomic alterations, some arising with the onset of polyploidy. Survivorship of duplicated genes are differential across gene classes, with some duplicate genes more prone to retention than others. Recent theory is now supported by evidence showing that genes that are retained in duplicate typically diversify in function or undergo subfunctionalization. Polyploidy has extensive effects on gene expression, with gene silencing accompanying polyploid formation and continuing over evolutionary time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Magnoliopsida / classification
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Polyploidy*