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      Organ-specific patterns of endopolyploidy in the giant ant Dinoponera australis

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      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Endoreduplication is an alternative cell cycle that omits cell division such that cellular ploidy increases, generating “endopolyploidy”. Endoreduplication is common among eukaryotes and is thought to be important in generalized cell differentiation. Previous research on ants suggests that they endoreduplicate in body segment-dependent manners. In this study, we measured endopolyploidy of specific organs within ant body segments to determine which organs are driving these segment-specific patterns and whether endopolyploidy is related to organ function. We dissected fourteen organs from each of five individuals of Dinoponera australis and measured endopolyploidy of each organ via flow cytometry. Abdominal organs had higher levels of endopolyploidy than organs from the head and thorax, driven by particularly high ploidy levels for organs with digestive or exocrine function. In contrast, organs of the reproductive, muscular, and neural systems had relatively low endopolyploidy. These results provide insight into the segment-specific patterns of endopolyploidy previously reported and into the specific organs that employ endoreduplication in their functional development. Future work aimed at quantifying the metabolic and gene expression effects of endoreduplication will clarify how this often overlooked genomic event contributes to the development and function of specialized organs across the breadth of taxa that are known to endoreduplicate.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Understanding mechanisms of novel gene expression in polyploids.

          Polyploidy has long been recognized as a prominent force shaping the evolution of eukaryotes, especially flowering plants. New phenotypes often arise with polyploid formation and can contribute to the success of polyploids in nature or their selection for use in agriculture. Although the causes of novel variation in polyploids are not well understood, they could involve changes in gene expression through increased variation in dosage-regulated gene expression, altered regulatory interactions, and rapid genetic and epigenetic changes. New research approaches are being used to study these mechanisms and the results should provide a more complete understanding of polyploidy.
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            Endoreplication: polyploidy with purpose.

            A great many cell types are necessary for the myriad capabilities of complex, multicellular organisms. One interesting aspect of this diversity of cell type is that many cells in diploid organisms are polyploid. This is called endopolyploidy and arises from cell cycles that are often characterized as "variant," but in fact are widespread throughout nature. Endopolyploidy is essential for normal development and physiology in many different organisms. Here we review how both plants and animals use variations of the cell cycle, termed collectively as endoreplication, resulting in polyploid cells that support specific aspects of development. In addition, we discuss briefly how endoreplication occurs in response to certain physiological stresses, and how it may contribute to the development of cancer. Finally, we describe the molecular mechanisms that support the onset and progression of endoreplication.
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              Ploidy regulation of gene expression.

              Microarray-based gene expression analysis identified genes showing ploidy-dependent expression in isogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that varied in ploidy from haploid to tetraploid. These genes were induced or repressed in proportion to the number of chromosome sets, regardless of the mating type. Ploidy-dependent repression of some G1 cyclins can explain the greater cell size associated with higher ploidies, and suggests ploidy-dependent modifications of cell cycle progression. Moreover, ploidy regulation of the FLO11 gene had direct consequences for yeast development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                March 28 2014
                March 28 2014
                : 37
                : 113-126
                Article
                10.3897/jhr.37.6824
                © 2014
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