Like many other important crops, potato is a polyploid. The effect of polyploidy on crop production has yet to be determined, but its prevalence in crop species suggests certain advantages. Potato is an ideal polyploid for study in that it results from genome doublings (autopolyploidy) rather than genome combinations (allopolyploidy) and is therefore less complex.
Potato actually has a number of ploidy levels, based on a haploid number of 12, ranging from diploid (2n=24) to hexaploid (6n=72), and including triploids, tetraploids, and pentaploids. Cultivated potato varieties are tetraploid (4n=48); many wild species are diploid but may range up to hexaploid. The tetraploid cultivated potatoes are not diploidized, so that there are four interchangeable genes at each locus.