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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

The methylation landscape of giga-genome and the epigenetic timer of age in Chinese pine

Li, Jiang; Han, Fangxu; Yuan, Tongqi; Li, Wei; Li, Yue; Wu, Harry X.; Wei, Hairong; Niu, Shihui


DNA methylation level declines during aging of mammals. Here, the authors report single-base resolution landscape of cytosine DNA methylation at different ages of Chinese pine and show that the global cytosine DNA methylation gradually increases as age progresses.Epigenetics has been revealed to play a crucial role in the long-term memory in plants. However, little is known about whether the epigenetic modifications occur with age progressively in conifers. Here, we present the single-base resolution DNA methylation landscapes of the 25-gigabase Chinese pine (Pinus tabuliformis) genome at different ages. The result shows that DNA methylation is closely coupled with the regulation of gene transcription. The age-dependent methylation profile with a linearly increasing trend is the most significant pattern of DMRs between ages. Two segments at the five-prime end of the first ultra-long intron in DAL1, a conservative age biomarker in conifers, shows a gradual decline of CHG methylation as the age increased, which is highly correlated with its expression profile. Similar high correlation is also observed in nine other age marker genes. Our results suggest that DNA methylation serves as an important epigenetic signature of developmental age in conifers.

Published in

Nature Communications
2023, Volume: 14, number: 1, article number: 1947

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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