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Bioessays. 2007 Mar;29(3):208-11.

DNA methylation with a sting: an active DNA methylation system in the honeybee.

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Division of Epigenetics, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.


The existence of DNA methylation in insects has been a controversial subject over a long period of time. The recently completed genome sequence of the honeybee Apis mellifera has revealed the first insect with a full complement of DNA methyltransferases. A parallel study demonstrated that these enzymes are catalytically active and that Apis genes can be methylated in specific patterns. These findings establish bees as a model to analyze the function of DNA methylation systems in invertebrate organisms and might also be important to understand evolutionary aspects of DNA methylation in higher eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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