Epigenetic machinery regulates the expression of individual genes and plays a crucial role in globally shaping and maintaining developmental patterning. We studied the extent of DNA methylation in the nucleus, mitochondrion and chloroplast in cultured Sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood) adult, juvenile and rejuvenated shoots by measuring the ratio of methylcytosine to total cytosine using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We also analyzed nuclear DNA (nuDNA) polymorphisms of different shoot types by methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP) and Southern blot analysis. The extent of nuDNA methylation was greater in the adult vegetative than juvenile and rejuvenated shoots (8% vs 6.5-7.5%). In contrast, the proportion of methylcytosine was higher in mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) of juvenile and rejuvenated shoots than adult shoots (6.6% vs 7.8-8.2%). MSAP and Southern blot analyses identified three MSAP fragments which could be applied as phase-specific molecular markers. We also found nuclear genome and mtDNA rearrangement may be as important as DNA methylation status during the phase change. Our findings strongly suggest that DNA methylation and genome rearrangement may affect the dynamic tissue- and cell type-specific changes that determine the developmental phase of S. sempervirens shoots.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology