Endopolyploidy is caused by DNA endoreplication, a special type of mitosis with normal DNA synthesis and a lack of cell division; it is a common phenomenon and plays an important role in plant development.

To systematically study the distribution pattern of endopolyploidy in maize, flow cytometry was used to determine the ploidy by measuring the cycle (C) value in various organs at different developmental stages, in embryos and endosperm during grain development, in roots under stress conditions, and in the roots of 119 inbred lines from two heterotic groups, Shaan A and Shaan B. Endopolyploidy was observed in most organs at various developmental stages except in expanded leaves and filaments. The endosperm showed the highest C value among all organs. During tissue development, the ploidy increased in all organs except the leaves. In addition, the endopolyploidization of the roots was significantly affected by drought stress. Multiple comparisons of the C values of seven subgroups revealed that the distribution of endopolyploidization was not correlated with the population structure. A correlation analysis at the seedling stage showed a positive relationship between the C value and both the length of the whole plant and the length of main root. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified a total of 9 significant SNPs associated with endopolyploidy (C value) in maize, and 8 candidate genes that participate in cell cycle regulation and DNA replication were uncovered in 119 maize inbred lines.

 

See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-019-03294-4