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Keywords:

  • Arabidopsis thaliana;
  • autopolyploidy;
  • flow cytometry;
  • genome evolution;
  • AFLP

Abstract

To address the issue of genome evolution in autopolyploids and particularly to investigate whether rapid sequence elimination also occurs in autopolyploids as in allopolyploids, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting was employed to examine a large number of genomic loci in F1 hybrids between two different autotetraploids of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, namely Ler and Col. Using this approach, perfect additivity in the F1 hybrids was found between the newly-formed autopolyploids when compared with their parental lines. Using flow cytometry, the study was extended in a quantitative manner, in which the nuclear DNA contents in one autotetraploid A. thaliana accession Ler, was determined. The increase in genome size of the autotetraploid line was additive. Taken together, no evidence was found for genome size reduction due to autopolyploidization of A. thaliana. The results indicating that there was no DNA loss in autotetraploid A. thaliana suggest that a different type of genome evolution may occur in autopolyploids during the initial stages of their formation when compared with allopolyploids.