Cytosine Methylation Analysis of Pinus elliottii × Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis and Their Parental Lines
Heterosis is the superiority of hybrids over their parental lines with regard to all kinds of agronomic traits and has been broadly investigated. However, the underlying genetic basis is so far obscure. To figure out the relationship between DNA methylation and heterosis in Pinus, we analyzed the cytosine methylation pattern in Pinus elliottii Englem. × Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis hybrids and their parents using the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) method. Our results show that the total DNA methylation levels were not significantly different between hybrids and their parental lines, indicating that heterosis might not be associated with DNA methylation level. Comparison between the elite and poor hybrids shows a different methylation pattern, indicating that readjustment of the DNA methylation pattern might be associated with heterosis. Fragment analysis shows that the RNA methylase (ermBP) gene, which can reactivate gene expression, may play an essential role in hybrid vigor. Our study provides a clue to understand the genetic basis underlying heterosis, which may be important for Pinus breeding in the future.
KeywordsHeterosis Cytosine methylation MSAP Methylation pattern
This study is supported by Research of Molecular Assistant Breeding for High-yeild Resin Pine in South China (2017B020232001), Forestry Genetic Breeding National Key Laboratory (Chinese Academy of Forestry Sciences) Open Project (TGB2013005), and Special Project for Technological Innovation of Guangdong Province (2016KJCX021).
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