Polyploid cells, which contain more than two genome copies, occur throughout nature. Beyond well-established roles in increasing cell size/metabolic output, polyploidy can also promote nonuniform genome, transcriptome, and metabolome alterations. Polyploidy also frequently confers resistance to environmental stresses not tolerated by diploid cells. Recent progress has begun to unravel how this fascinating phenomenon contributes to normal physiology and disease.
© 2015 Shoenfelder and Fox.