Hybridization between different species, and subsequently polyploidy, play an important role in plant genome evolution, as well as it is a widely used approach for crop improvement. Recent studies of the last several years have demonstrated that, hybridization and subsequent genome doubling (polyploidy) often induce an array of variations that could not be explained by the conventional genetic paradigms. A large proportion of these variations are epigenetic in nature. Epigenetic can be defined as a change of the study in the regulation of gene activity and expression that are not driven by gene sequence information. However, the ramifications of epigenetic in plant biology are immense, yet unappreciated. In contrast to the ease with which the DNA sequence can be studied, studying the complex patterns inherent in epigenetic poses many problems. In this view, advances on researching epigenetic change of hybrid and polyploidy in plants will be initially set out by summarizing the latest researches and the basic studies on epigenetic variations generated by hybridization. Moreover, polyploidy may shed light on the mechanisms generating these variations. These advances will enhance our understanding on their evolutionary significances, as well as enable us to utilize these variations more effectively than before in crop breeding.
Key words: Epigenetic change, hybridization and polyploidy, evolution, crop breeding.
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