Speciation Through Genome Duplication More Common In Plant Evolution Than Previously Thought

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 09:21 in Biology & Nature

Extra genomes appear, on average, to offer no benefit or disadvantage to plants, but still play a key role in the origin of new species, say scientists. Plant biologists have long suspected polyploidy -- the heritable acquisition of extra chromosome sets -- was a gateway to speciation. But the consensus was that polyploidy is a minor force. The first direct, comprehensive survey of polyploid speciation in plant evolution severely challenges that notion.

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