How does aneuploidy differ from polyploidy?

1 Answer
Nov 10, 2014

Aneuploidy is a chromosomal mutation in which there is one or more extra chromosomes, or one or more fewer chromosomes. In humans, the genetic disorders Down syndrome and Turner's syndrome are examples of aneuploidy. Individuals with Down syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21, so their genomes contain 47 chromosomes rather than the usual 46. Individuals with Turner syndrome have only one sex chromosome, which is the X-chromosome, so their genomes contain 45 chromosomes.

Polyploidy is a chromosomal mutation in which a cell has entire extra sets of chromosomes. Instead of being diploid, in which the cell contains two sets of chromosomes, it may be triploid (three sets of chromosomes), or tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes). Polyploidy is common in plants, and plant growers may exploit this fact to produce plants with flowers having double petals. Polyploidy is generally lethal in animals.