Mar 29, 2020

Recent loss of the Dim2 cytosine DNA methyltransferase impacts mutation rate and evolution in a fungal plant pathogen

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mareike MoellerE. H. Stukenbrock


DNA methylation is found throughout all domains of life, yet the extent and function of DNA methylation differ between eukaryotes. Many strains of the plant pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici appeared to lack cytosine DNA methylation (5mC) because gene amplification followed by Repeat-Induced Point mutation (RIP) resulted in the inactivation of the Ztdim2 DNA methyltransferase gene. 5mC is, however, present in closely related sister species. We demonstrate that inactivation of Ztdim2 occurred recently as some Z. tritici isolates carry a functional Ztdim2 gene. Moreover, we show that Ztdim2 inactivation occurred by a different path than previously hypothesized. We mapped the genome-wide distribution of 5mC in strains with and without functional Ztdim2. Presence of functional Ztdim2 correlated with high levels of 5mC in transposable elements (TEs), suggesting a role in genome defense. We identified low levels of 5mC in strains carrying inactive Ztdim2 alleles, suggesting that 5mC is maintained over time, presumably by an active Ztdnmt5 gene. Integration of a functional Ztdim2 allele in strains with mutated Ztdim2 restored normal 5mC levels, demonstrating de novo cytosine methylation activity of Ztdim2. To assess the importanc...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

DNA Methylation [PE]
DNA Methylation
Gene Expression
Massively-Parallel Sequencing
Metaplastic Cell Transformation
Biologist (General)

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