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FEBS Lett. 1989 Apr 24;247(2):415-8.

Chicken spermatogenesis is accompanied by a genomic-wide loss of DNA methylation.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain.


Renaturation kinetics of DNA obtained from chicken testis cell nuclei separated by sedimentation at unit gravity showed that the undermethylation, previously observed in meiotic and postmeiotic cells, is not a peculiarity of repetitive sequences, but is also a feature of unique sequences. The large proportion of slowly renaturing, intermediately renaturing and rapidly renaturing DNAs contain 27, 32 and 31% less methylcytosines in meiotic and postmeiotic cells than the corresponding fractions of premeiotic cells. DNA methyltransferase activity is lower in meiotic cells containing undermethylated DNA than in immature testis, enriched in spermatogonia, with higher levels of DNA methylation.

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