Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 1128-1133.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021213

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The mechanism of constructing mixed-ploidy populations in polyploid species

Yongbo Liu()   

  1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Regional Eco-process and Function Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2021-05-25 Accepted:2021-07-20 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-08-16
  • Contact: Yongbo Liu


Background & Aims: Polyploidization, the duplication of entire genomes, is a key driver in the processes of speciation and evolution, and almost all plants experience at least one whole-genome duplication (WGD). Because polyploid species have higher mortality ratio than diploid ones, the mechanism of polyploidization is considered a “dead-end”. However, some plant species exist in nature as mixed ploidy populations. These populations contain species that exist at different polyploidy levels and therefore provide the best opportunities to study the mechanisms of polyploidy evolution.

Progresses: Beginning with the origination of polyploid plants from WGD, I reviewed the progress on the formation, establishment and maintenance of mixed-ploidy populations in polyploid plants. I also discussed the mechanisms of polyploid speciation through the population divergence of polyploid plants adaption in a natural environment.

Prospects: Detection of the ploidy components, divergence of multi-copy genes, and niche differentiation of polyploids facilitate the understanding of ecological adaptation and maintenance of mixed ploidy populations and the evolutionary mechanisms of polyploid plants.

Key words: polyploid plants, mixed ploidy, populations, whole-genome duplication, minority cytotype exclusion