Endopolyploidy in plants

Ilia J. Leitch, Steven Dodsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Endopolyploidy is a general term describing the multiplication of nuclear DNA within the cell. In plants, this takes place via several mechanisms but mainly through the process of endoreduplication. Endoreduplication involves the replication of chromosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) without intervening mitoses and no obvious chromatin condensation/decondensation, with chromatids staying united either at the centromere or rarely, along their entire length. The occurrence of this form of endopolyploidy is uneven across plants; thus far, it has not been detected in some lineages (e.g. liverworts), whereas it is common in angiosperms (flowering plants), where very high levels (up to 24 567C) of endopolyploidy have been reported in some tissues. Internal and external factors contribute to the mechanisms underlying endopolyploidy, which can be seen as a key part of the developmental flexibility of plants. Recent work has shown that endopolyploidy may also play an important role in the response of plants to environmental stress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Life Sciences
ISBN (Electronic)9780470015902
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017


  • endopolyploidy
  • endoreduplication
  • endocycle
  • endomitosis
  • ploidy
  • cell size
  • cell differentiation
  • cell cycle
  • stress
  • DNA damage response

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