Polyploid plants are often characterized by large sizes, an increased content of a number of substances, resistance to adverse environmental factors and other economically useful qualities. They represent an important source of variability and can be used as starting material for breeding and creating high-yielding plant varieties. Among the most important crops, polyploids are wheat, cotton, sugarcane, banana, potatoes, and sunflowers. Beautiful garden flowers (chrysanthemums, dahlias) are also polyploid.
Artificially polyploid plants are obtained using colchicine, an alkaloid that inhibits the formation of the mitotic spindle as a result of the violation of microtubule formation. Polyploids are also found in natural populations. Most plants are capable of vegetative propagation and therefore are effectively reproduced in a polyploid state.
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