Whole-Genome Sequence of Synthesized Allopolyploids in Cucumis Reveals Insights into the Genome Evolution of Allopolyploidization

Xiaqing Yu, Panqiao Wang, Ji Li, Qinzheng Zhao, Changmian Ji, Zaobing Zhu, Yufei Zhai, Xiaodong Qin, Junguo Zhou, Haiyan Yu, Xinchao Cheng, Shiro Isshiki, Molly Jahn, Jeff J. Doyle, Carl Otto Ottosen, Yuling Bai, Qinsheng Cai, Chunyan Cheng, Qunfeng Lou, Sanwen HuangJinfeng Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The importance of allopolyploidy in plant evolution has been widely recognized. The genetic changes triggered by allopolyploidy, however, are not yet fully understood due to inconsistent phenomena reported across diverse species. The construction of synthetic polyploids offers a controlled approach to systematically reveal genomic changes that occur during the process of polyploidy. This study reports the first fully sequenced synthetic allopolyploid constructed from a cross between Cucumis sativus and C. hystrix, with high-quality assembly. The two subgenomes are confidently partitioned and the C. sativus-originated subgenome predominates over the C. hystrix-originated subgenome, retaining more sequences and showing higher homeologous gene expression. Most of the genomic changes emerge immediately after interspecific hybridization. Analysis of a series of genome sequences from several generations (S0, S4–S13) of C. ×hytivus confirms that genomic changes occurred in the very first generations, subsequently slowing down as the process of diploidization is initiated. The duplicated genome of the allopolyploid with double genes from both parents broadens the genetic base of C. ×hytivus, resulting in enhanced phenotypic plasticity. This study provides novel insights into plant polyploid genome evolution and demonstrates a promising strategy for the development of a wide array of novel plant species and varieties through artificial polyploidization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2021


  • allopolyploidy
  • Cucumis
  • diploidization
  • evolution
  • genomes

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