Qian Liu, Xuan Ma, Xue Li, Xinran Zhang, Shaoli Zhou, Lizhong Xiong, Yu Zhao, Dao-Xiu Zhou
Nature Communications volume14, Article number: 6571(2023), Published:18 October 2023
Epigenetic reprogramming occurs during reproduction to reset the genome for early development. In flowering plants, mechanistic details of parental methylation remodeling in zygote remain elusive. Here we analyze allele-specific DNA methylation in rice hybrid zygotes and during early embryo development and show that paternal DNA methylation is predominantly remodeled to match maternal allelic levels upon fertilization, which persists after the first zygotic division. The DNA methylation remodeling pattern supports the predominantly maternal-biased gene expression during zygotic genome activation (ZGA) in rice. However, parental allelic-specific methylations are reestablished at the globular embryo stage and associate with allelic-specific histone modification patterns in hybrids. These results reveal that paternal DNA methylation is remodeled to match the maternal pattern during zygotic genome reprogramming and suggest existence of a chromatin memory allowing parental allelic-specific methylation to be maintained in the hybrid.