3 Biotech

, 9:313 | Cite as

MSAP analysis of epigenetic changes reveals the mechanism of bicolor petal formation in Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Shima Nishiki’

  • Yu Wang
  • Mingyuan Zhao
  • Zongda Xu
  • Shuai Qi
  • Xiaoyan YuEmail author
  • Xu HanEmail author
Original Article


Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Shima Nishiki’ is a very valuable bicolor cultivar because of its distinctive and colorful flowers. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying bicolor petal formation is limited. In this study, we used the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) method to assess the levels and pattern of cytosine methylation in different-colored petals during floral development. Our data showed differences in the methylation levels of red and pink petals. The methylation rate of the red petals was consistently higher than that of the pink petals, with maximum values of 58.45% (red petals) and 44.36% (pink petals) during the S2 developmental stage. However, obvious differences were not observed in the patterns of cytosine methylation in different-colored petals; methylation and demethylation occurred simultaneously and the proportions were similar. In addition, we isolated and sequenced the differentially methylated fragments and found that one fragment was homologous to the bHLH1 gene of P. suffruticosa ‘Luoyang Hong’; its expression pattern suggested that the bHLH1 gene may be involved in the regulation of the formation of bicolor flowers in P. suffruticosa ‘Shima Nishiki’. These results will provide a valuable resource for further investigation of the genetic mechanisms underlying bicolor petal formation in P. suffruticosa ‘Shima Nishiki’.


P. suffruticosa ‘Shima Nishiki’ Bicolor DNA methylation Methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism 



This project was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (31700622).

Author contributions

XY and XH conceived the idea and supervised the project. ZX and YW participated in the design of the study and in interpreting the data, and manuscript preparation. YW performed the experiments and the data analysis and drafted the manuscript. SQ contributed analysis tools and participated in the data analysis. All authors carefully read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1844_MOESM1_ESM.doc (71 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ForestryShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina

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