The cell nucleus of the humble potato is home to an exceptional tangle of genes and DNA. A recent study published in the leading scientific journal Nature has begun to unlock the tuber’s secrets. The potatoes we eat are tetraploid, meaning they have four copies of the same gene, unlike diploid organisms (like us) which have only two. What is interesting is that these copies are quite different, carrying a multitude of different genes. What do potatoes do with all this genetic information? The potatoes we cook reproduce by cloning, meaning a new plant is generated from a piece of potato. However, this eliminates some genetic variability and the ability to adapt to stress and disease. Potatoes have increased the number of genes to remedy this. That is why they have twice as many.