Oral Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

DNA methylation and sex chromosome dosage compensation (#39)

Shafagh A Waters 1 , Alexandra Livernois 2 , Hardip Patel 3 , Paul D Waters 1
  1. The University Of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. University of Canberra, Canberra
  3. John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Caberra, ACT, Australia

Cytosine methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays a role in regulation of transcription. Methylation, particularly at promoter CpG-islands, can lead to silencing of the associated gene. In mammals, DNA methylation has several well characterized regulatory functions, including the chromosome-wide epigenetic silencing of the X chromosome (called X-chromosome inactivation; XCI). XCI is part of a dosage compensation system in therian (eutherian and marsupial) mammals that results in almost equal average transcriptional output from the X chromosome between the sexes. DNA methylation is a late and stabilizing step in maintaining transcriptional silence of the X in eutherian mammals, but there are limited detailed data about DNA methylation in marsupials, monotreme and birds. Here we present a genome wide analysis DNA methylation in non-eutherian representatives from three amniote vertebrate lineages, each with independently evolved dosage compensation systems.