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Description popularizing the research project
Ancient sculptures of heroes and athletes show, beyond any doubt, that a man from the very beginning paid a lot of attention to the beauty of the body. Although the canon of beauty kept changing in the follow of fashions, the canon has been always desired as an ideal to follow. The struggle to overcome one's weakness to get the coveted figure made the humanity seek other, smarter ways to get the muscles ripped, with the use of latest discoveries in medicine and pharmacology. Genetic doping seems to be the pinnacle achievement in the field. Thanks to imperceptible manipulations in selected cells, the sports world counts on an increase in muscle mass, strength and stamina which will not raise any suspicions. Yet, such a treatment, discarding its questionable ethical aspect, is difficult, costly and risky.
Endoreduplication is an alternative form of the cell cycle in somatic tissues, in which the re-peated rounds of nuclear DNA replication occur without subsequent mitosis and cell division. It is suggested that endoreduplication promotes cell enlargement and high levels of gene ex-pression to facilitate rapid growth and maturation of the tissue/organ. As endoreduplication occurs in tissues displaying high metabolic activity it has also been suggested that endoredu-plication may provide mechanism whereby cells increase the availability of a DNA template in order to increase the level of gene expression. Endoreduplication process may also represent an evolutionary strategy which substitutes for a lack of phylogenetic increase in nuclear DNA, since it is more prevalent in plants harbouring small genomes. It was also suggested that it can be the way to avoid the consequences of mutations which plants accumulate during their life. Additional copies of genes could be a buffer for these mutations. Although endoreduplication is widespread in plants, particularly in angiosperms, its biological significance is still unclear. It is also a matter of question why in tissues/organs of one species endoreduplication occurs and in other does not. Therefore the aim of this study was to compare the intensity of en-doreduplication in different tissues of various species of various taxonomic positions, genome sizes and life span. The analyses of endoreduplication intensity in vegetative and generative plant organs were performed with flow cytometer Partec CCA (Partec GmbH, Münster, Germa-ny). Flow cytometric analyses revealed the occurrence of endopolyploidy in most of the inves-tigated species. However intensity of this process differed between species, organs and devel-opmental stages. The results suggest the role of endoreduplication in facilitating plant growth and development, however more detailed studies are needed. Better understanding of en-doreduplication process in plants could be useful for improving yield and quality of plant products, as endoreduplication seems to be of paramount importance for increasing the bio-mass of agronomic species.