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Polyploidy and Mutation in Arabidopsis


Spoelhof, Jonathan; Soltis, Douglas; Soltis, Pamela (2021), Polyploidy and Mutation in Arabidopsis, Dryad, Dataset,


The effects of genetic mutations are influenced by genome structure. Polyploids have more gene or allele copies than diploids, which results in higher tolerance of recessive deleterious mutations. However, this benefit may differ between autopolyploids and allopolyploids and between neopolyploids and older polyploid lineages due to the effects of hybridization and diploidization, respectively. To isolate these effects, we measured the impacts of controlled mutagenesis on reproductive fitness traits in closely related Arabidopsis diploids (A. thaliana), autotetraploids (A. thaliana), and allotetraploids (A. suecica), including both synthetic and natural polyploid lines. Overall, mutagenesis had the largest negative impacts on seed production, while its impacts on germination and survival were negligible. As expected, these effects were much stronger in diploids than in polyploids. The differences between autopolyploids, allopolyploids, and polyploids of different ages were minor—cumulative reproductive fitness did not significantly differ between the treatment and control groups for any polyploid line type. These results suggest that hybridization and polyploid age have not impacted the genomic redundancy of Arabidopsis polyploids enough to significantly alter their aggregate response to mutation, although this effect may differ in older polyploid lineages or in allopolyploids with different levels of divergence between parental subgenomes.