Evolutionary consequences of DNA methylation in a basal Metazoan

Dixon, Groves B., Bay, Line K., and Matz, Mikhail V. (2016) Evolutionary consequences of DNA methylation in a basal Metazoan. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33 (9). pp. 2285-2293.

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Gene body methylation (gbM) is an ancestral and widespread feature in Eukarya, yet its adaptive value and evolutionary implications remain unresolved. The occurrence of gbM within protein-coding sequences is particularly puzzling, because methylation causes cytosine hypermutability and hence is likely to produce deleterious amino acid substitutions. We investigate this enigma using an evolutionarily basal group of Metazoa, the stony corals (order Scleractinia, class Anthozoa, phylum Cnidaria). We show that patterns of coral gbM are similar to other invertebrate species, predicting wide and active transcription and slower sequence evolution. We also find a strong correlation between gbM and codon bias, resulting from systematic replacement of CpG bearing codons. We conclude that gbM has strong effects on codon evolution and speculate that this may influence establishment of optimal codons.

Item ID: 45797
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1537-1719
Keywords: DNA methylation, gene body methylation, codon bias, coral, substitution rate, gene expression
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The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com.

Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Queensland Government
Projects and Grants: NSF DEB-1054766
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 07:33
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310505 Gene expression (incl. microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310504 Epigenetics (incl. genome methylation and epigenomics) @ 60%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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