Stomatal size in fossil plants: evidence for polyploidy in majority of angiosperms

Science. 1994 Apr 15;264(5157):421-4. doi: 10.1126/science.264.5157.421.


Three published estimates of the frequency of polyploidy in angiosperms (30 to 35 percent, 47 percent, and 70 to 80 percent) were tested by estimating the genome size of extinct woody angiosperms with the use of fossil guard cell size as a proxy for cellular DNA content. The inferred chromosome numbers of these extinct species suggest that seven to nine is the primitive haploid chromosome number of angiosperms and that most angiosperms (approximately 70 percent) have polyploidy in their history.