Whole-genome duplication generates a tetraploid from a diploid. Newly created tetraploids (neo-tetraploids) of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) have elevated leaf potassium (K), compared to their diploid progenitor. Micro-grafting has previously established that this elevated leaf K is driven by processes within the root. Here, mutational analysis revealed that the K+-uptake transporters K+ TRANSPORTER 1 (AKT1) and HIGH AFFINITY K+ TRANSPORTER 5 (HAK5) are not necessary for the difference in leaf K caused by whole-genome duplication. However, the endodermis and salt overly sensitive and abscisic acid-related signaling were necessary for the elevated leaf K in neo-tetraploids. Contrasting the root transcriptomes of neo-tetraploid and diploid wild-type and mutants that suppress the neo-tetraploid elevated leaf K phenotype allowed us to identify a core set of 92 differentially expressed genes associated with the difference in leaf K between neo-tetraploids and their diploid progenitor. This core set of genes connected whole-genome duplication with the difference in leaf K between neo-tetraploids and their diploid progenitors. The set of genes is enriched in functions such as cell wall and Casparian strip development and ion transport in the endodermis, root hairs, and procambium. This gene set provides tools to test the intriguing idea of recreating the physiological effects of whole-genome duplication within a diploid genome.
Fischer, S., Flis, P., Zhao, F. J., & Salt, D. E. (2022). Transcriptional network underpinning ploidy-related elevated leaf potassium in neo-tetraploids. Plant Physiology, 190(3), 1715-1730. https://doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiac360