Trans chromosomal methylation in Arabidopsis hybrids

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Journal Article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, 109 (9), pp. 3570 - 3575
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The heterotic hybrid offspring of Arabidopsis accessions C24 and Landsberg erecta have altered methylomes. Changes occur most frequently at loci where parental methylation levels are different. There are context-specific biases in the nonadditive methylation patterns with mCG generally increased and mCHH decreased relative to the parents. These changes are a result of two main mechanisms, Trans Chromosomal Methylation and Trans Chromosomal deMethylation, where the methylation level of one parental allele alters to resemble that of the other parent. Regions of altered methylation are enriched around genic regions and are often correlated with changes in siRNA levels. We identified examples of genes with altered expression likely to be due to methylation changes and suggest that in crosses between the C24 and Ler accessions, epigenetic controls can be important in the generation of altered transcription levels that may contribute to the increased biomass of the hybrids.
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