How multiple-genome plants reproduce
Dilkes' laboratory at Purdue was involved in analyzing the DNA of each plant tested to determine whether it was a diploid or tetraploid. He said the work would continue to determine which genes and mutations allow for sexual reproduction in tetraploid plants.
Kirsten Bomblies, an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard and principal investigator for the project, said the results are also important for human health.
"Several of the genes have been shown to be critical for survival of tetraploid, but not diploid yeast, and they are also implicated in human polyploid cancers and genome instability syndromes," Bomblies said.
The research was funded by the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Bomblies was supported by a Harvard University William F. Milton Fund award.