Genome-wide High-Resolution Mapping and Functional Analysis of DNA Methylation in Arabidopsis

Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 10/2006; 126(6):1189-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.08.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cytosine methylation is important for transposon silencing and epigenetic regulation of endogenous genes, although the extent to which this DNA modification functions to regulate the genome is still unknown. Here we report the first comprehensive DNA methylation map of an entire genome, at 35 base pair resolution, using the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model. We find that pericentromeric heterochromatin, repetitive sequences, and regions producing small interfering RNAs are heavily methylated. Unexpectedly, over one-third of expressed genes contain methylation within transcribed regions, whereas only approximately 5% of genes show methylation within promoter regions. Interestingly, genes methylated in transcribed regions are highly expressed and constitutively active, whereas promoter-methylated genes show a greater degree of tissue-specific expression. Whole-genome tiling-array transcriptional profiling of DNA methyltransferase null mutants identified hundreds of genes and intergenic noncoding RNAs with altered expression levels, many of which may be epigenetically controlled by DNA methylation.

Download full-text


Available from: Junshi Yazaki, Jun 29, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Along with its essential role in the maintenance of genome integrity, DNA methylation takes part in regulation of genes which are important for plant development and stress response. In plants, DNA methylation process can be directed by small RNAs in process known as RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) involving two plant-specific RNA polymerases – PolIV and PolV. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of heat stress on the expression of genes encoding key players in DNA methylation – DNA methyltransferase (MET1, CMT3, and DRM2), the largest subunits of PoIIV and PolV (NRPD1 and NRPE1 respectively) and the DNA demethylase ROS1. We also examined the high-temperature effect on two protein-coding genes – At3g50770 and At5g43260 whose promoters contain transposon insertions and are affected by DNA-methylation, as well as on the AtSN1, a SINE-like retrotransposon. To assess the involvement of PolIV and PolV in heat stress response, the promoter methylation status and transcript levels of these genes were compared between wild type and double mutant lacking NRPD1 and NRPE1. The results demonstrate coordinated up-regulation of the DRM2, NRPD1 and NRPE1 in response to high temperature and suggest that PolIV and/or PolV might be required for the induction of DRM2 expression under heat stress. The ROS1 expression was confirmed to be suppressed in the mutant lacking active PolIV and PolV that might be a consequence of abolished DNA methylation. The increased expression of At3g50770 in response to elevated temperature correlated with reduced promoter DNA methylation, while the stress response of At5g43260 did not show inverse correlation between promoter methylation and gene expression. Our results also imply that PolIV and/or PolV could regulate gene expression under stress conditions not only through RdDM but also by acting in other regulatory processes.
    Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 02/2015; 87. DOI:10.1016/j.plaphy.2014.12.022 · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inheritable epigenetic mutations (epimutations) can contribute to transmittable phenotypic variation. Thus, epimutations can be subject to natural selection and impact the fitness and evolution of organisms. Based on the framework of the modified Tajima's D test for DNA mutations, we developed a neutrality test with the statistic "D(m) " to detect selection forces on DNA methylation mutations using single methylation polymorphisms (SMPs). With computer simulation and empirical data analysis, we compared the D(m) test to the original and modified Tajima's D tests and demonstrated that the D(m) test is suitable for detecting selection on epimutations and outperforms original/modified Tajima's D tests. Due to the higher resetting rate of epimutations, the interpretation of D(m) on epimutations and Tajima's D test on DNA mutations could be different in inferring natural selection. Analyses using simulated and empirical genome-wide polymorphism data suggested that genes under genetic and epigenetic selections behaved differently. We applied the D(m) test to recently originated Arabidopsis and human genes, and showed that newly evolved genes contain higher level of rare epialleles, suggesting epimutation may play a role in origination and evolution of genes and genomes. Overall, we demonstrate the utility of the D(m) test to detect whether the loci are under selection regarding DNA methylation. Our analytical metrics and methodology could contribute to our understanding of evolutionary processes of genes and genomes in the field of epigenetics. The Perl script for the "D(m)" test is available at © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
    Genome Biology and Evolution 12/2014; 7(1). DOI:10.1093/gbe/evu271 · 4.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evolution is fueled by phenotypic diversity, which is in turn due to underlying heritable genetic (and potentially epigenetic) variation. While environmental factors are well known to influence the accumulation of novel variation in microorganisms and human cancer cells, the extent to which the natural environment influences the accumulation of novel variation in plants is relatively unknown. Here we use whole-genome and whole-methylome sequencing to test if a specific environmental stress (high-salinity soil) changes the frequency and molecular profile of accumulated mutations and epimutations (changes in cytosine methylation status) in mutation accumulation (MA) lineages of Arabidopsis thaliana. We first show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼100% more mutations, and that these mutations exhibit a distinctive molecular mutational spectrum (specific increases in relative frequency of transversion and insertion/deletion [indel] mutations). We next show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼45% more differentially methylated cytosine positions (DMPs) at CG sites (CG-DMPs) than controls, and also show that while many (∼75%) of these CG-DMPs are inherited, some can be lost in subsequent generations. Finally, we show that stress-associated CG-DMPs arise more frequently in genic than in nongenic regions of the genome. We suggest that commonly encountered natural environmental stresses can accelerate the accumulation and change the profiles of novel inherited variants in plants. Our findings are significant because stress exposure is common among plants in the wild, and they suggest that environmental factors may significantly alter the rates and patterns of incidence of the inherited novel variants that fuel plant evolution.
    Genome Research 10/2014; 24(11). DOI:10.1101/gr.177659.114 · 13.85 Impact Factor