Cycles of DNA replication in the absence of cell division, resulting in polyploidy (q.v.). Almost all plants and animals produce specific subpopulations of polyploid cells by this process. For example, the ploidy of megakaryocytes (the progenitor cells of blood platelets) ranges from 16N to 64N, that of cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) from 4N to 8N, and that of hepatocytes (liver cells) from 2N to 8N. Compare with polyteny.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.