The first mitochondrial 5-methylcytosine map in a non-model teleost (Oreochromis niloticus) reveals extensive strand-specific and non-CpG methylation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGenomics. 2021, 113 (5), 3050-3057. 10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.07.007
DNA methylation is one of the main epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression in a manner that depends on the genomic context and varies considerably across taxa. This DNA modification was first found in nuclear genomes of eukaryote several decades ago and it has also been described in mitochondrial DNA. It has recently been shown that mitochondrial DNA is extensively methylated in mammals and other vertebrates. Our current knowledge of mitochondrial DNA methylation in fish is very limited, especially in non-model teleosts. In this study, using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, we determined methylation patterns within non-CpG (CH) and CpG (CG) contexts in the mitochondrial genome of Nile tilapia, a non-model teleost of high economic importance. Our results demonstrate the presence of mitochondrial DNA methylation in this species predominantly within a non-CpG context, similarly to mammals. We found a strand-specific distribution of methylation, in which highly methylated cytosines were located on the minus strand. The D-loop region had the highest mean methylation level among all mitochondrial loci. Our data provide new insights into the potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating metabolic flexibility of mitochondria in fish, with implications in various biological processes, such as growth and development.