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Whole-genome DNA methylation profile of the jewel wasp (Nasonia vitripennis).


ABSTRACT: The epigenetic mark of DNA methylation, the addition of a methyl (CH3) group to a cytosine residue, has been extensively studied in many mammalian genomes and, although it is commonly found at the promoter regions of genes, it is also involved in a number of different biological functions. In other complex animals, such as social insects, DNA methylation has been determined to be involved in caste differentiation and to occur primarily in gene bodies. The role of methylation in nonsocial insects, however, has not yet been explored thoroughly. Here, we present the whole-genome DNA methylation profile of the nonsocial hymenopteran, the jewel wasp (Nasonia vitripennis). From high-throughput sequencing of bisulfite-converted gDNA extracted from male Nasonia thoraces, we were able to determine which cytosine residues are methylated in the entire genome. We found that an overwhelming majority of methylated sites (99.7%) occur at cytosines followed by a guanine in the 3' direction (CpG sites). Additionally, we found that a majority of methylation in Nasonia occurs within exonic regions of the genome (more than 62%). Overall, methylation is sparse in Nasonia, occurring only at 0.18% of all sites and at 0.63% of CpGs. Our analysis of the Nasonia methylome revealed that in contrast to the methylation profile typically seen in mammals, methylation is sparse and is constrained primarily to exons. This methylation profile is more similar to that of the social hymenopteran species, the honey bee (Apis mellifera). In presenting the Nasonia methylome, we hope to promote future investigation of the regulatory function of DNA methylation in both social and nonsocial hymenoptera.

SUBMITTER: Beeler SM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3962478 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): J02459

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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