Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (6): 600-607.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017028

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The roles of epigenetic variation in plant hybridization and polyploidization

Linfeng Li1,2,*(), Bao Liu2   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
    2 Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024
  • Received:2017-02-01 Accepted:2017-04-12 Online:2017-06-20 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Li Linfeng

Abstract:

Hybridization and polyploidization are common phenomena in plants and play important roles in speciation and diversification of extant species. Previous studies using ecological, physiological and molecular investigations have provided a framework for understanding the underlying mechanisms of plant hybridization and polyploidization. In this review, we examine the roles of epigenetic variation in species evolution from an evolutionary perspective. We summarize recent advances in Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and species of Brassica to elucidate the correlations between phenotypic novelty and epigenetic variation. Based on currently available observations, we propose that future studies should emphasize the roles of epigenetic variation at both the natural population and species levels, and that statistical methods need to be improved to identify causative epigenetic variations at the genome-wide level.

Key words: epigenetics, hybridization, phenotypic novelty, polyploidization, speciation