3 years ago

Analyses of methylomes of upland and lowland switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) ecotypes using MeDIP-seq and BS-seq

Analyses of methylomes of upland and lowland switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) ecotypes using MeDIP-seq and BS-seq
Shaojun Xie, Malay Saha, Venu (Kal) Kalavacharla, Jyothi Thimmapuram, Mollee Dworkin
Switchgrass is a crop with many desirable traits for bioenergy production. Plant genomes have high DNA methylation levels throughout genes and transposable elements and DNA methylation is known to play a role in silencing transposable elements. Here we analyzed methylomes in two switchgrass genotypes AP13 and VS16. AP13 is derived from a lowland ecotype and VS16, typically considered drought-tolerant, is derived from an upland ecotype, both genotypes are tetraploid (2n = 4× = 36). Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (MeDIP-seq) and bisulfite-sequencing (BS-seq) were used to profile DNA methylation in genomic features of AP13 and VS16. The methylation patterns in genes and transposable elements were similar to other plants, however, overall CHH methylation levels were comparatively low. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were assessed and a total of 1777 CG-DMRs, 573 CHG-DMRs, and 3 CHH-DMRs were detected between the two genotypes. TEs and their flanking regions were higher than that of genic regions. Different types of TEs had different methylation patterns, but the two LTRs (Copia and Gypsy) were similarly methylated, while LINEs and DNA transposons typically had different methylation patterns. MeDIP-seq data was compared to BS-seq data and most of the peaks generated by MeDIP-seq were confirmed to be highly methylated by BS-seq. DNA methylation in switchgrass genotypes obtained from the two ecotypes were found similar. Collinear gene pairs in two subgenomes (A and B) were not significantly differentially methylated. Both BS-seq and MeDIP-seq methodologies were found effective. Methylation levels were highest at CG and least in CHH. Increased DNA methylation was seen in TEs compared to genic regions. Exploitation of TE methylations can be a viable option in future crop improvement.
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