Several species of haloarchaea have been shown to be polyploid and thus this trait might be typical for and widespread in haloarchaea. In the present paper, nine different possible evolutionary advantages of polyploidy for haloarchaea are discussed, including low mutation rate, radiation/desiccation resistance, gene redundancy and survival over geological times and at extraterrestrial sites. Experimental indications exist for all but one of these evolutionary advantages. Several of the advantages require gene conversion, which has been shown to be present and active in haloarchaea.

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