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J Hered. 2006 Sep-Oct;97(5):444-50. Epub 2006 Sep 20.

Infraspecific DNA methylation polymorphism in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.).

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1
Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Abstract

Cytosine methylation is important in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and development in plants and has been implicated in silencing duplicate genes after polyploid formation in several plant groups. Relatively little information exists, however, on levels and patterns of methylation polymorphism (MP) at homologous loci within species. Here we explored the levels and patterns of methylation-polymorphism diversity at CCGG sites within allotetraploid cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, using a methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism screen and a selected set of 20 G. hirsutum accessions for which we have information on genetic polymorphism levels and relationships. Methylation and MP exist at high levels within G. hirsutum: of 150 HpaII/MspI sites surveyed, 48 were methylated at the inner cytosine (32%) and 32 of these were polymorphic (67%). Both these values are higher than comparable measures of genetic diversity using restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The high percentage of methylation-polymorphic sites and potential relationship to gene expression underscore the potential significance of MP within and among populations. We speculate that biased correlation of methylation-polymorphic sites and genes in cotton may be a consequence of polyploidy and the attendant doubling of all genes.

PMID:
16987937
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/esl023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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