• Allohexapolyploid;
  • Brassica;
  • DNA methylation;
  • gene expression;
  • genome doubling;
  • hybridisation


Allopolyploidisation is a prominent evolutionary force that involves two major events: interspecific hybridisation and genome doubling. Both events have important functional consequences in shaping the genomic architecture of the neo-allopolyploids. The respective effects of hybridisation and genome doubling upon genomic and transcriptomic changes in Brassica allopolyploids are unresolved. In this study, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) and cDNA-AFLP approaches were used to track genetic, epigenetic and transcriptional changes in both allohexaploid Brassica (ArArBcBcCcCc genome) and triploid hybrids (ArBcCc genome). Results from these groups were compared with each other and also to their parents Brassica carinata (BBCC genome) and Brassica rapa (AA genome). Rapid and dramatic genetic, DNA methylation and gene expression changes were detected in the triploid hybrids. During the shift from triploidy to allohexaploidy, some of the hybridisation-induced alterations underwent reversion. Additionally, novel genetic, epigenetic and transcriptional alterations were also detected. The proportions of A-genome-specific DNA methylation and gene expression alterations were significantly greater than those of BC-genome-specific alterations in the triploid hybrids. However, the two parental genomes were equally affected during the ploidy shift. Hemi-CCG methylation changes induced by hybridisation were recovered after genome doubling. Full-CG methylation changes were a more general process initiated in the hybrid and continued after genome doubling. These results indicate that genome doubling could ameliorate genomic and transcriptomic alterations induced by hybridisation and instigate additional alterations in trigenomic Brassica allohexaploids. Moreover, genome doubling also modified hybridisation-induced progenitor genome-biased alterations and epigenetic alteration characteristics.