Genomes vary dramatically in size and in content. This variation is driven in part by numerous polyploidization events that have happened over the course of eukaryotic evolution. Experimental evolution studies, primarily using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, provide insights into the immediate fitness effects of ploidy mutations, the ability of organisms of different ploidy levels to mask deleterious mutations, the impact of ploidy on rates of adaptation, and the relative roles of selection versus drift in shaping ploidy evolution. We review these experimental evolution studies and present new data on differences in maximal growth rate for cells of different ploidy levels.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada graduate scholarship to A.C.G., Discovery grant to S.P.O.).
- Experimental evolution
- Growth rate
- Rate of adaptation
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae