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Methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism-based genome-wide analysis of cytosine methylation profiles in Nicotiana tabacum cultivars

Author(s): J. Jiao, J. Wu, Z. Lv, C. Sun, L. Gao, X. Yan, L. Cui, Z. Tang, B. Yan and Y. Jia

This study aimed to investigate cytosine methylation profiles in different tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cultivars grown in China. Methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism was used to analyze genome-wide global methylation profiles in four tobacco cultivars (Yunyan 85, NC89, K326, and Yunyan 87). Amplicons with methylated C motifs were cloned by reamplified polymerase chain reaction, sequenced, and analyzed. The results show that geographical location had a greater effect on methylation patterns in the tobacco genome than did sampling time. Analysis of the CG dinucleotide distribution in methylation-sensitive polymorphic restriction fragments suggested that a CpG dinucleotide cluster-enriched area is a possible site of cytosine methylation in the tobacco genome. The sequence alignments of the Nia1 gene (that encodes nitrate reductase) in Yunyan 87 in different regions indicate that a C-T transition might be responsible for the tobacco phenotype. T-C nucleotide replacement might also be responsible for the tobacco phenotype and may be influenced by geographical location.