Polyploidy may provide adaptive advantages and is considered to be important for evolution and speciation. Polyploidy events are found throughout the evolutionary history of plants, however they do not seem to be uniformly distributed along the time axis. For example, many of the detected ancient whole-genome duplications (WGDs) seem to cluster around the K/Pg boundary (∼66 Mya), which corresponds to a drastic climate change event and a mass extinction. Here, we discuss more recent polyploidy events using Arabidopsis as the most developed plant model at the level of the entire genus. We review the history of the origin of allotetraploid species A. suecica and A. kamchatica, and tetraploid lineages of A. lyrata, A. arenosa and A. thaliana, and discuss potential adaptive advantages. Also, we highlight an association between recent glacial maxima and estimated times of origins of polyploidy in Arabidopsis. Such association might further support a link between polyploidy and environmental challenge, which has been observed now for different time-scales and for both ancient and recent polyploids.
Novikova, P. Y., Hohmann, N., & Van de Peer, Y. (2018, April 1). Polyploid Arabidopsis species originated around recent glaciation maxima. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbi.2018.01.005