Are polyploids really evolutionary dead ends?

Published: June 11th, 2014

Category: News, Publications

Soltis, D. E., M. C. Segovia-Salcedo, I. Jordon-Thaden, L. Majure, N. M. Miles, E. V. Mavrodiev, W. Mei, M. Beatriz Cortez, P. S. Soltis, and M. A. Gitzendanner. 2014. Are polyploids really evolutionary dead-ends (again)? A critical reappraisal of Mayrose et al. (2011). New Phytol 202:1105–1117. [Link to article]

Since the publication of Mayrose et al. (2011), which argued that polyploid plants (at least ferns and angiosperms) have lower rates of diversification, researchers have suggested that the view, common in the mid-1900s, that polyploids are evolutionary dead ends may be correct.

In this paper we argue that, while this may ultimately be found to be true, there are many methodological and theoretical problems with the Mayrose at al. analysis, and that it is too early to close the books on this important evolutionary question.


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