Variation in DNA methylation in avian nestlings is largely determined by genetic effects

Bernice Sepers, Rebecca Shuhua Chen, Michelle Memelink, Koen J F Verhoeven, Kees van Oers* (Co-auteur)

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

8 Citaten (Scopus)

Samenvatting

As environmental fluctuations are becoming more common, organisms need to rapidly adapt to anthropogenic, climatic, and ecological changes. Epigenetic modifications and DNA methylation in particular provide organisms with a mechanism to shape their phenotypic responses during development. Studies suggest that environmentally induced DNA methylation might allow for adaptive phenotypic plasticity that could last throughout an organism's lifetime. Despite a number of studies demonstrating environmentally induced DNA methylation changes, we know relatively little about what proportion of the epigenome is affected by environmental factors, rather than being a consequence of genetic variation. In the current study, we use a partial cross-foster design in a natural great tit (Parus major) population to disentangle the effects of common origin from common rearing environment on DNA methylation. We found that variance in DNA methylation in 8,315 CpG sites was explained by a common origin and only in 101 by a common rearing environment. Subsequently, we mapped quantitative trait loci for the brood of origin CpG sites and detected 754 cis and 4,202 trans methylation quantitative trait loci, involving 24% of the CpG sites. Our results indicate that the scope for environmentally induced methylation marks independent of the genotype is limited and that the majority of variation in DNA methylation early in life is determined by genetic factors instead. These findings suggest that there may be little opportunity for selection to act on variation in DNA methylation. This implies that most DNA methylation variation likely does not evolve independently of genomic changes.
Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummermsad086
TijdschriftMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume40
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 01 apr. 2023

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