Volumes of flow sorted nuclei were analyzed from two highly endopolyploid (diploids with endopolyploid tissues) species (Arabidopsis thaliana and Barbarea stricta), from a less endopolyploid species (Allium cepa) and from two non-endopolyploid species (Chrysanthemum multicolor and Fritillaria uva-vulpis). Intraspecific as well as interspecific comparisons revealed a highly positive correlation (r >0.99) between DNA content and nuclear volume. No significant differences between expected and measured nuclear volumes were noted indicating that chromatin packing is not increased with increasing DNA content in the tested plant species. In epidermis cells of A. thaliana, A. cepa and Ch. multicolor, a lower (r between 0.6 and 0.7) but significant positive correlation between nuclear volume and cell volume was found. This correlation is compatible with the hypothesis that endopolyploidization (EP = consecutive replication cycles not separated by nuclear and cell divisions) might speed up the growth of endopolyploid species and compensate for small genome size.

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