Somatic polyploidy or endopolyploidy is common in the plant kingdom; it ensures growth and allows adaptation to the environment. It is present in the majority of plant groups, including mosses. Endopolyploidy had only been previously studied in about 65 moss species, which represents less than 1% of known mosses. We analyzed 11 selected moss species to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of endopolyploidy using flow cytometry to identify patterns in ploidy levels among gametophytes and sporophytes. All of the studied mosses possessed cells with various ploidy levels in gametophytes, and four of six species investigated in sporophytic stage had endopolyploid sporophytes. The proportion of endopolyploid cells varied among organs, parts of gametophytes and sporophytes, and ontogenetic stages. Higher ploidy levels were seen in basal parts of gametophytes and sporophytes than in apical parts. Slight changes in ploidy levels were observed during ontogenesis in cultivated mosses; the youngest (apical) parts of thalli tend to have lower levels of endopolyploidy. Differences between parts of cauloid and phylloids of Plagiomnium ellipticum
and Polytrichum formosum
were also documented; proximal parts had higher levels of endopolyploidy than distal parts. Endopolyploidy is spatially and temporally differentiated in the gametophytes of endopolyploid mosses and follows a pattern similar to that seen in angiosperms.
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