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Widespread natural variation of DNA methylation within angiosperms

By Chad E. Niederhuth, Adam J Bewick, Lexiang Ji, Magdy S. Alabady, Kyung Do Kim, Qing Li, Nicholas A. Rohr, Aditi Rambani, John M. Burke, Josh A Udall, Chiedozie Ngozi Egesi, Jeremy Schmutz, Jane Grimwood, Scott A Jackson, Nathan M. Springer, Robert J. Schmitz

Posted 27 Mar 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/045880 (published DOI: 10.1186/s13059-016-1059-0)

To understand the variation in genomic patterning of DNA methylation we compared methylomes of 34 diverse angiosperm species. By analyzing whole-genome bisulfite sequencing data in a phylogenetic context it becomes clear that there is extensive variation throughout angiosperms in gene body DNA methylation, euchromatic silencing of transposons and repeats, as well as silencing of heterochromatic transposons. The Brassicaceae have reduced CHG methylation levels and also reduced or loss of CG gene body methylation. The Poaceae are characterized by a lack or reduction of heterochromatic CHH methylation and enrichment of CHH methylation in genic regions. Reduced CHH methylation levels are found in clonally propagated species, suggesting that these methods of propagation may alter the epigenomic landscape over time. These results show that DNA methylation patterns are broadly a reflection of the evolutionary and life histories of plant species.

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