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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56346. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056346. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Genomic change, retrotransposon mobilization and extensive cytosine methylation alteration in Brassica napus introgressions from two intertribal hybridizations.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Center of Crop Molecular Breeding Technology, National Center of Oil Crop Improvement (Wuhan), College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, PR China.


Hybridization and introgression represent important means for the transfer and/or de novo origination of traits and play an important role in facilitating speciation and plant breeding. Two sets of introgression lines in Brassica napus L. were previously established by its intertribal hybridizations with two wild species and long-term selection. In this study, the methods of amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP), sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (SSAP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) were used to determine their genomic change, retrotransposon mobilization and cytosine methylation alteration in these lines. The genomic change revealed by the loss or gain of AFLP bands occurred for ∼10% of the total bands amplified in the two sets of introgressions, while no bands specific for wild species were detected. The new and absent SSAP bands appeared for 9 out of 11 retrotransposons analyzed, with low frequency of new bands and their total percentage of about 5% in both sets. MSAP analysis indicated that methylation changes were common in these lines (33.4-39.8%) and the hypermethylation was more frequent than hypomethylation. Our results suggested that certain extents of genetic and epigenetic alterations were induced by hybridization and alien DNA introgression. The cryptic mechanism of these changes and potential application of these lines in breeding were also discussed.

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