Polyploidal Plants

The next stop for Courtney and Annie’s most excellent summer vacation was the fields of Kaiima in Kfar Tavor, Israel.


My work colleagues were checking out the enhanced growth rates and robustness of plants that have been modified to have four parents instead of two.


I find it quite remarkable that each cell can divide and replicate as usual, but with twice the DNA. The plant is also fertile and propagates with a stable genome.


With four sets of chromosomes, errant mutations are less likely to cripple the plant. It’s as if one could express the archetype of the species. And it’s not considered a GMO.

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Taken on September 2, 2009