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What is the difference between Autopolyploidy and Allopolyploidy? Autopolyploidy arises by the fusion of gametes of the same species;. Allopolyploidy. Polyploidy is a condition in which an organism has more than two complete sets of chromosomes in every cell (i.e. > diploid). Autopolyploidy. Polyploidy is the state of a cell or organism having more than two paired ( homologous) sets of Autopolyploidy; Allopolyploidy; Paleopolyploidy; Karyotype; Homoeologous chromosomes. 7 Bacteria; 8 Archaea; 9 See also.

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Heredity is the passing on of characters from parents onto their progeny.

In some organisms, like humans, a parent passes on one copy per gene to their offspring and as a result, the progeny gets two copies in total from its parents. These organisms are called diploids 2n. In some other organisms more than one copy per parent is transmitted, in these cases, the organisms are called polyploids. Different types of polyploidy exist in nature, autopolyploidy and allopolyploidy. So, what is the difference between autopolyploidy and allopolyploidy?

Autopolyploidy appears when an individual has more than two sets of chromosomes, both of which from the same parental species.

Allopolyploidy, on the other hand, occurs when the individual has more than two copies but these copies, come from different species. For the formulation of descriptions of these two types of polyploidy, some researchers have focused on their origins namely, nature of parentage to distinguish them; while others focus on their genetic characteristics their chromosomal profile and behavior.

Phylogenetics for allopolyploids

If the duplicated chromosomes are completely homologous and result from multivalent or random bivalent segregation during meiosis, these are called polysomic polyploids. If, however, the duplicated chromosomes are homoeologous partially homologous and result strictly from bivalent homologous chromosomes then these are called disomic polyploids.

Nonetheless, these polyploids, share many features—such as high levels of gene duplication and heterozygosity. Due to outcrossing, autopolyploids have high levels of heterozygosity compared to diploids. In the formation of allopolyploids, it is important to note that the parental species do not have to have the same number of chromosomes in order for this polyploidto form.

Even when the number of chromosomes does not match allopolyploid hybrids still do form. Below we will go through how polyploidy arises, tolerance for it in Eukaryotes, advantages and disadvantages of polyploidy allopolyploidy and autopolyploidy which will also be compared and contrasted between the two polyploids.

Polyploid species result through either single species diploid genome duplication autopolyploidy or the fusion of two or more diploid genomes from different species allopolyploidy. However, there seems to be bias towards certain species pairing for the formation of certain allotetraploid species; where some species preferentially mate to form specific allotetraploids repeatedly.

So, how does polyploidy come about? They either occur naturally e. Polyploids arise when a mitotic or meiotic anomaly occurs such as nondisjunction. Nondisjunction can result from a genetic mishap or can be purposely induced in the lab. An addition of a chemical such as colchicine can discourage the cell from splitting chromatid content and halving the chromatid to opposite ends such that during prophase two daughter cells form with half the content each.

Colchicine dissolves spindle fibers which are responsible for pulling apart the sister chromatids so after they align in preparation for the cell splitting to two daughter cells.

The result of this is that the resulting cells have tetraploid chromosomes. The same principle applies whether to autopolyploidu the autopolyploid or allopolyploid formation. The only difference is that the chromosomes in the cell entering prophase are from the same parent autopolyploid or different parental species allopolyploid.

Generally, even numbered polyploids, like tetraploids and hexaploid, are stable enough that they make it in population; while odd numbered ones e. As a result, many polyploids found in nature usually contain chromosome-pair multiples. Every locus in the genome of auto;olyploidy is homozygous because they result from a duplication event. On the other hand, allopolyploids display varying degrees of heterozygosity depending on the parental genomes.


Allopolyploids produce a more diverse set of gametes because of the allelic diversity they possess. Very few mechanisms can instantly result in speciation, polyploidization is one of them. Speciation by polyploidy has become a popular topic in the scientific community. For some reason some groups tolerate, some strive on while others are strictly against polyploidization.

Difference Between Autopolyploidy and Allopolyploidy | Definition, Characteristics, Function

Recent polyploidization events are nearly unheard of in groups such sllopolyploidy vertebrates but are very popular in plant groups such as angiosperms. In higher vertebrates such as humans, polyploids are strongly selected against. It is also noteworthy that highly diverse families also seem to have very high numbers of polyploids. The high prevalence of polyploids in some groups clearly suggests that this must somehow confer a competitive advantage for the taxon.

In plants, the allopolyploid progeny may come out healthier and fitter than either parent. This is usually a atopolyploidy from a biodiversity standpoint because it means reduced autopolyploldy should the hybrid threaten the prevalence of either or both parents. When a hybrid is stronger that the parental species this is referred to as hybrid vigor or heterosis. Ideally, you want the hybrid to be just as fit autopolyp,oidy either parent, as this means increased diversity and a possibility of another evolutionary trajectory.

Indeed, this is one of the ways explosive radiation of some lineages can arise. Hybrid vigor can arise in several ways. One possibility is that when the two species interbreed more selective pressure is placed upon the recessive mutation thus reducing their propagation in the polyploid autoopolyploidy.

Recombination also means that the hybrids can produce more diverse progenies, with high possibilities of heterozygosity. The redundancy presented by the presence of many copies of each gene means that there is increased protection against deleterious mutations. The reason the haploid phase is vulnerable to developmental failure is that deleterious recessive alleles are not masked thus increasing the chance of something going wrong; while in allopolyploixy the presence of a healthy version can mask this effect.

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This advantage of allopolyploidy is crucial in small inbreeding populations and can be the difference between population failure and flourishing. Polyploidy can promote the appearance of novel genes. Novel genes can autopklyploidy from the extra copies without disruptive their original function because the other duplicate copies will still be there to provide that function.

The presence of additional copies can also aid in establishing self-compatibility in species with selection against it. In both plants and animals, the presence of asexual reproduction has been associated with polyploidy presence. Asexual allpoolyploidy of allopolyploids would not be as bad as when diploids self because they have gene diversity within and, therefore, their propagules would still have a chance of heterozygosity.


Selfing poses a similar problem in autopolyploids as with diploids. One can even argue that it has worse consequences in autoploids than in diploids. This is because autoployploids contains alleles that are copies of each other thus increasing the autopolyploify of propagating deleterious mutations and reducing diversity within a population. However, autopolyploids can still promote the formation of novel genes.

In fact, this might be even more important than it is in allopolyploids as the genes in autopolyploids are homzygous in any case so are better off becoming novel allopoolyploidy instead. One major problem all polyploids share is the increase in biomass with the increase in chromosome allopolhploidy.

Now, we all know how important DNA packaging and organization is because of all that information having to fit within a cell and still leave enough space for other cell components.


So, imagine what happens when more chromosomes are added to a cell that, when diploid, is already organized just right to accommodate everything without hindering cell autopolypkoidy.

The obvious solution is to increase cell size, however in the known polyploids cell size has been reported to only increase by 1. This obviously then pose a danger to cell processes. As a result, the positioning of the telomeric and centromeric heterochromatin, amongst other things, can be znd due to less space in the nuclear envelope being available.

In an ironic twist, mitosis and meiosis can also be affected negatively when polyploid cells enter cell division. Due to the confusing number of chromosomes, more spindles may be formed in the cell, and this can lead to chaos during segregation. As a result, the daughter cells can have irregular chromosome numbers aneuploidy. Examples of polyploidy in nature are plentiful.

They are also purposely induced or bred for purposes including aquaculture and agriculture. Examples in the agricultural sector include autopolyploids such as alfalfa and potato; and allopolyploids such as wheat and coffee.

In some instances, some lineages show evidence of having polyploidy in their ancestry; for example, soybean, and cabbage paleopolyploids. Polyploids usually have some advantageous traits such as increased drought tolerance, pest resistance, organ size and biomass.

These present polyploids with opportunities to expand their range and exploit new niches. Bananas are amongst the famous sterile polyploids. Banana fruits develop parthenocarpically. Parthenocarpically refers to ovary of a flower developing or an egg developing without pollination or fertilization, respectively. Consequently, fruits that developed in this way are typically seedless. Some seedless fruits come from sterile triploid plants parents: The cultivated banana, Musa x paradisiaca Musaceaehowever, is a triploid hybrid from two diploid Asian species, M.

In the Animal Kingdom, a number polyploid species have been encountered. This species polyploid chromosome content shows evidence of being allopolyploid while also possessing some characteristics associated with genome duplication such as remarkable size increase in the spermatozoa and different somatic cell lines. Polyploidy is an important phenomenon in the diversification of the angiosperm lineage.

In some lineages, however, may have adverse consequences leading to deleterious genetic conditions. Allopolyploids and autopolyploids are crucial for the diversification of groups and present the allopolyploivy to suppress lethal recessive properties.

Allopolyploids seem to provide an ideal setting for asexual reproduction while costing the species less diversity loss than would diploids. Autopolyploids present a crucial platform for novel genes and novel gene expression in having spare duplicates per gene. Check out our other articles on Biology.

You can also find thousands of a,lopolyploidy questions on Albert. Are you a teacher or administrator interested in boosting Biology student outcomes? Learn more about our school licenses here. Autopolyploixy anything through interactive practice with Albert. Did you know that you can take autipolyploidy of your time in high school to earn college credits? Statistics has a habit of taking words that we know and love, and turning them into something else c Home Science Differences between Autopolyploidy and Allopolyploidy.

October 22,8: Definitions and Descriptions of Polyploids For the formulation of descriptions of these two types of polyploidy, some researchers have focused on their origins namely, nature of parentage to distinguish them; while others focus on their genetic characteristics their chromosomal profile and behavior. Mechanism for Polyploidy Polyploid species result through either single species diploid genome duplication autopolyploidy or the fusion of two or more diploid genomes from different species allopolyploidy.