Research press release


Nature Biotechnology

Threading together a map of silkworm DNA modifications


カイコのDNAメチル化レベルを調べるため、J Wangたちは、次世代塩基配列解読法を利用した研究を行い、カイコゲノムのシトシン(4種類あるDNA塩基の1つ)のメチル化、非メチル化の状態を示す高分解能地図を作製した。カイコの絹糸腺の細胞からとったゲノムには、ヒトや植物細胞のゲノムに比べ、メチル化シトシンは約50分の1しか含まれていなかった。


A study published this week in Nature Biotechnology reveals that DNA methylation across the silkworm genome is much less common than in mammals and plants. Understanding methylation ― a type of DNA modification that helps determine which genes are switched on and which are switched off ― can help in our understanding of the insect lifecycle.

To investigate the level of DNA methylation in the silkworm, Jun Wang and colleagues employed a next-generation sequencing-based approach to create a high-resolution map of methylated and unmethylated cytosines ― one of the four DNA bases ― in the silkworm genome. Their results suggest that the genome from cells of the silkworm silk gland contains about fifty-fold fewer methylated cytosines than is found in the genomes of human or plant cells.

Silkworm genes containing higher amounts of modified cytosines were confirmed to show higher levels of gene expression, but modifications in other regions of the genome may have different roles in insects compared with mammals and plants.

doi: 10.1038/nbt.1626

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