MDI Biological Laboratory

Polyploidy in Development, Evolution, and Disease

Polyploidy is a conserved and frequently occurring phenomenon whose impact on organismal health and disease is poorly understood. This is the second symposium at MDI Biological Laboratory designed to bring together researchers studying polyploidy.

  • October 6-8, 2021
  • Virtual Symposium
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This symposium will build on the 2018 event to bring together researchers working on a wide range of model organisms; plants, fruit flies, mice, yeast and others. Symposium topics will include cell cycle and growth regulation, cell fusion, genome instability, as well as disease models and tissue repair.

Keynote Speaker: Rebecca Heald, Ph.D., UC Berkeley

We hope that you will join us for this unique opportunity to integrate multiple research perspectives and disciplines, identify new collaborative opportunities, and directions for the emerging areas of polyploid research. Abstracts will be accepted for short talk or poster presentations. Submission deadline is July 15, 2021. Abstracts are submitted through the registration process.


$50 USD Group leaders/PIs

$25 USD Students and staff


Brian Calvi, Ph.D. Professor

Indiana University Bloomington

Mara Schvarzstein, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

City University of New York Brooklyn

E. Han Tan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

University of Maine

Invited Speakers

Gustavo Leone, Ph.D. Director

Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center

Laura Buttitta, Ph.D. Associate Professor

University of Michigan

Michael Barker, Ph.D. Associate Professor

University of Arizona

Rebecca Heald, Ph.D. 2021 Polyploidy Symposium Keynote; Flora Lamson Hewlett Chair and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

University of California, Berkeley

Wallace Marshall, Ph.D. Professor

University of California, San Francisco

Zuzana Storchova, Ph.D. Professor of Molecular Genetics

University Kaiserslautern


Polyploidy 2021 is scheduled from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT (8:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT / 4:00 to 8:00 PM GMT) on October 6 – 8, 2021.

October 6:

11:00 – 11:05 AM     Welcome and introduction: Brian Calvi (Indiana University Bloomington)

I. Polyploidy in Evolution, Ecology

11:05 – 11:30 AM     Michael Barker (University of Arizona) Variation in polyploidy across the tree of life

11:30 – 11:45 AM     Short Talk: Marek Glombik (Czech Academy of Sciences) Stable patterns of genome dominance in reciprocal grass hybrids (Festuca × Lolium) revealed by k-mer based approach

II. Polyploid cell cycle and gene expression

11:45 – 12:00 PM     Short Talk: Simon Gemble (Institut Curie) To scale or not to scale: G1 phase duration does not scale up with DNA content in polyploid cells generating genome reshuffling

12:00 – 12:25 PM     Zuzana Storchova (University Kaiserslautern) Scaling of gene expression in budding yeasts of different ploidy

Break/Poster session 12:25 – 1:30 PM

III. Polyploid cell division

1:30 – 1:55 PM     Kirsten Bomblies (ETH Zürich) Learning a tango of four – Meiotic adaptation to whole genome duplication via “supercharged” crossover interference

1:55 – 2:10 PM     Short Talk: Elvira Hoerandl (University of Goettingen) Effects of polyploidy on stress response and loss of sex in plants

2:10 – 2:25 PM     Short Talk: Manon Budzyk (Institut Curie) Mitotic nucleases: dangerous actors in asynchronous polyploid cells

2:25 – 2:50 PM     Don Fox (Duke University) How to survive polyploid mitosis

2:50 – 3:00 PM     Day’s wrap up: E. Han Tan (University of Maine)


October 7:

11:00 – 11:05 AM     Introduction to Day 2: Mara Schvarzstein (City University of New York Brooklyn)

IV. Polyploid Nuclear, Cell, and Tissue Scaling

11:05 – 12:00 PM     Keynote: Rebecca Heald (University of California at Berkeley) Amphibians with different genome sizes facilitate investigation of size scaling and speciation

12:15 – 12:30 PM     Short Talk: Jozefien Van de Velde (Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research) Population genomics of Australian burrowing frogs Neobatrachus reveal adaptation to polyploidy

12:30 – 12:45 PM     Short Talk: Dongying Gao (United States Department of Agriculture) Development of synthetic allotetraploids for enhancing peanut disease resistance and genome evolution

Break/Poster session 12:45 – 1:30 PM

IV. Polyploid Cell, Nuclear, and Tissue Scaling, cont.

1:30 – 1:55 PM     Adrienne Roeder (Cornell University) Arabidopsis leaf and sepal sizes compensate for increased cell size due to polyploidy

1:55 – 2:10 PM     Short Talk: Xavier Franch Marro (Institute of Evolutionary Biology at UPF-CSIC) Ploidy levels regulate cell fate during metamorphosis in Drosophila melanogaster

2:10 – 2:25 PM     Short Talk: Stefanie Windner (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) Scaling of nuclear sizes and DNA content in multinucleated muscle fibers

2:25 – 2:50 PM     Wallace Marshall (University of California at San Francisco) Dynamics of nuclear shape in Stentor

2:50 – 3:00 PM     Day’s wrap up: Mara Schvarzstein


October 8:

11:00 – 11:05 AM     Introduction to Day 3: Brian Calvi

V. Polyploidy in Tissue Development and Regeneration

11:05 – 11:30 AM     Laura Butitta (University of Michigan) Cell Cycle Re-entry in Postmitotic Tissues

11:30 – 11:45 AM     Short talk: Alberto Gandarillas (Insituto de Investigación Maqués de Valdecilla) Mitotic slippage and polyploidisation automatically control mammalian epidermal homeostasis

11:45 – 12:00 PM     Short Talk: Cara Gottardi (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) Lung injury induces alveolar type 2 cell hypertrophy and polyploidy with implications for repair and regeneration

12:00 – 12:25 PM     Vicki Losick (Boston College) Endocycle restores tissue tension in Drosophila abdomen post wound repair

Break/Open conversation 12:25 – 1:15 PM

VI. Polyploidy in Genome Instability and Disease

1:15 – 1:40 PM    Gustavo Leone (Medical College of Wisconsin) Title TBA

1:40 – 1:55 PM     Short Talk: Valentina Sladky (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) The centriole-PIDDosome pathway restricts hepatocyte polyploidization to facilitate regeneration following chronic liver injury

1:55 – 2:10 PM     Short Talk: Kelly Hartsough (Indiana University at Bloomington) Induced endoreplication by Aurora B kinase inhibition as a model for tumor heterogeneity

2:10 – 2:35 PM     Wu-Min Deng (Tulane University School of Medicine) Polyploid mitosis, depolyploidization and chromosomal instability in a Drosophila tumor model 

 2:50 – 3:00 PM     Concluding remarks and meeting end: Brian Calvi