Plants, in general, have a high proportion of their CpG and CpNpG nucleotide motifs modified with 5-methylcytosine (5mC). Developmental changes in the proportion of 5mC are evident in mammals, particularly during gametogenesis and embryogenesis, but little information is available from flowering plants due to the intimate association of gametes with sporophytic tissues. In ferns, sperm are uninucleate and free-swimming and thus are easily isolated. We have examined 5mC in DNA isolated from fern sperm and other tissues with methylation-sensitive and -insensitive restriction enzyme isoschizomers, Southern blots probed with chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal RNA genes and end-labeled restriction fragments. We conclude that fern sperm DNA is methylated to a similar or greater degree than DNA isolated from either sporophytes or gametophytes.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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