Genetic and epigenetic stability of cryopreserved and cold-stored hops (Humulus lupulus L.). Academic Article uri icon


  • Conventional cold storage and cryopreservation methods for hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are available but, to our knowledge, the genetic and epigenetic stability of the recovered plants have not been tested. This study analyzed 51 accessions of hop using the molecular techniques, Random Amplified DNA Polymorphism (RAPD) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), revealing no genetic variation among greenhouse-grown controls and cold stored or cryopreserved plants. Epigenetic stability was evaluated using Methylation Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP). Over 36% of the loci were polymorphic when the cold and cryo-treated plants were compared to greenhouse plants. The main changes were demethylation events and they were common to the cryopreserved and cold stored plants indicating the possible effect of the in vitro establishment process, an essential step in both protocols. Protocol-specific methylation patterns were also detected indicating that both methods produced epigenetic changes in plants following cold storage and cryopreservation.

publication date

  • December 2008