Mitotic instability in resynthesized and natural polyploids of the genus Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae)

Kirsten M. Wright, J. Chris Pires, Andreas Madlung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Allopolyploids contain complete sets of chromosomes from two or more different progenitor species. Because allopolyploid hybridization can lead to speciation, allopolyploidy is an important mechanism in evolution. Meiotic instability in early-genera- tion allopolyploids contributes to high lethality, but less is known about mitotic fidelity in allopolyploids. We compared mitotic stability in resynthesized Arabidopsis suecica-like neoallopolyploids with that in 13 natural lines of A. suecica (2n = 4x = 26). We used fluorescent in situ hybridization to distinguish the chromosomal contribution of each progenitor, A. thaliana (2n = 2x =10) and A. arenosa (2n = 4x = 32). Surprisingly, cells of the paternal parent A. arenosa had substantial aneuploidy, while cells of the maternal parent A. thaliana were more stable. Both natural and resynthesized allopolyploids had low to intermediate levels of aneuploidy. Our data suggest that polyploidy in Arabidopsis is correlated with aneuploidy, but varies in frequency by species. The chromosomal composition in aneuploid cells within individuals was variable, suggesting somatic mosaicisms of cell lineages, rather than the formation of distinct, stable cytotypes. Our results suggest that somatic aneuploidy can be tolerated in Arabidopsis polyploids, but there is no evidence that this type of aneuploidy leads to stable novel cytotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1656-1664
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Allopolyploid
  • Allopolyploidization
  • Aneuploid
  • Arabidopsis arenosa
  • Arabidopsis suecica
  • Brassicaceae
  • FISH
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization
  • Hybrid
  • Mitosis
  • Mitotic instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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