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Methylation dynamics during the maternal-to-zygotic genome transition in dioecious species.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. (Immler Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9517-485X
2018 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 7, article id e0200028Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The starting point of a new generation in sexually reproducing species is fertilization. In many species, fertilization is followed by cell divisions controlled primarily by maternal transcripts, with little to no zygotic transcription. The activation of the zygotic genome (ZGA) is part of a process called maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), during which transcripts from the zygotic genome take control of development, setting the conditions for cellular specialization. While we know that epigenetic processes (e.g. methylation) are involved in the MZT, their roles and interplay in the transition are largely unknown. I developed a model and used simulations to elucidate the interaction between possible epigenetic processes, namely methylation processes, involved in the MZT. The model focuses on the dynamics of global methylation levels and how these interact with factors such as a parental repressor and the nucleocytoplasmic ratio to trigger the ZGA, followed by development from fertilization to adulthood. In addition, I included transgenerational effects transmitted to the zygote from both parents through their gametes to show that these may set the stage for plastic developmental processes. I demonstrate that the rates of maintenance methylation and demethylation, which are important for the achievement of the final methylation levels of an individual, exhibit a certain level of flexibility in terms of parameter values. I find that high final methylation levels require more restricted combinations of parameter values. The model is discussed in the context of the current empirical knowledge and provide suggestions for directions of future empirical and theoretical studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 13, no 7, article id e0200028
National Category
Genetics
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356599DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200028PubMedID: 29990374OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-356599DiVA, id: diva2:1236385
Available from: 2018-08-02 Created: 2018-08-02 Last updated: 2018-08-02Bibliographically approved

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