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Advantages of Polyploidy in Plants

Polyploidy plays a significant and fascinating role in cultivating plants today. To those of you who still aren’t familiar with this, it is a feature where the organism has more than two copies of each of its chromosomes. Human beings are diploid creatures, and that means you only have two copies of each chromosome. According to experts, this polyploidy feature has many advantages. In fact, it’s now being used to help cultivate plants for better business and even for a better environment.

Similar to humans, some of the good and bad genes in plants are also passed on from generation to generation. The polyploidy feature in plants is considered a great help in stopping the harmful genes. How is this possible? As the plant acquires multiple copies of every chromosome from its “parents,” it also acquires the multiple copies of every gene. The possibility that the bad genes will be masked increases as the plant inherits the multiple copies of the good genes along with the bad.

In relation to inheriting good genes, plant breeding experts also have discovered hybrid vigor or heterosis. An excellent lineage is produced through cross-breeding two types of plants that have beneficial genes. Polyploidy only increases this effect in plants and even secures the new plant breed, as it has the ability to produce multiple copies of the advantageous genes. Some studies also have suggestions that, when compared to its diploid relatives, polyploids have an increased level of heterosis.

Bigger leaves and fruits are also associated with polyploidy. Scientific studies show that the volume of the nucleus in a plant is directly related to the volume of the plant’s cell. This is why plant breeders believe that a larger genome would mean a larger nucleus and a larger cell. And this is observable when comparing polyploid plants and their diploid relatives. The former is bigger than the latter. This is why polyploidy feature in plants is now used to cultivate plants that yield more and bigger leaves and fruits for business. In some cases, polyploids have approximately 130 percent of their parents’ volume or size.

On top of all these, polyploidy plants also grow faster – making business more profitable and helping the environment become greener in a faster way. They are also said to fight ecological stress factors like low levels of rainfall and salinity much better than diploid plants.

Indeed, it isn’t any wonder now that polyploidy is becoming more and more popular in plant technology for its use not just in business, but also for ecological reasons.

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