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Article|26 May 2022|OPEN
Absence of major epigenetic and transcriptomic changes accompanying an interspecific cross between peach and almond
Carlos de Tomás1 , Amélie Bardil2 , Raúl Castanera1 , Josep M. Casacuberta1 , and Carlos M. Vicient,1 ,
1Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB, Campus UAB, Edifici CRAG, Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain
2Present address: Institut écologie et environnement (INEE), CNRS, Montpelier, France
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac127 (2022)
Views: 106

Received: 22 Feb 2022
Accepted: 24 May 2022
Published online: 26 May 2022


Hybridization has been widely used in breeding of cultivated species showing low genetic variability, such as peach (Prunus persica). The merging of two different genomes in a hybrid often triggers a so-called “genomic shock” with changes in DNA methylation and in the induction of transposable element expression and mobilization. Here, we analysed the DNA methylation and transcription levels of transposable elements and genes in leaves of Prunus persica and Prunus dulcis and in an F1 hybrid using high-throughput sequencing technologies. Contrary to the “genomic shock” expectations, we found that the overall levels of DNA methylation in the transposable elements in the hybrid are not significantly altered compared with those of the parental genomes. We also observed that the levels of transcription of the transposable elements in the hybrid are in most cases intermediate as compared with that of the parental species and we have not detected cases of higher transcription in the hybrid. We also found that the proportion of genes whose expression is altered in the hybrid compared with the parental species is low. The expression of genes potentially involved in the regulation of the activity of the transposable elements is not altered. We can conclude that the merging of the two parental genomes in this Prunus persica x Prunus dulcis hybrid does not result in a “genomic shock” with significant changes in the DNA methylation or in the transcription. The absence of major changes may facilitate using interspecific peach x almond crosses for peach improvement.