DNA methylation regulates transcriptional homeostasis of algal endosymbiosis in the coral model Aiptasia
Liew, Yi Jin
Cziesielski, Maha J
Zahran, Noura Ibrahim Omar
Michell, Craig T
Voolstra, Christian R.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
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AbstractThe symbiotic relationship between cnidarians and dinoflagellates is the cornerstone of coral reef ecosystems. Although research is focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying this symbiosis, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, which have been implicated in transcriptional regulation and acclimation to environmental change, is unknown. To assess the role of DNA methylation in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, we analyzed genome-wide CpG methylation, histone associations, and transcriptomic states of symbiotic and aposymbiotic anemones in the model system Aiptasia. We find methylated genes are marked by histone H3K36me3 and show significant reduction of spurious transcription and transcriptional noise, revealing a role of DNA methylation in the maintenance of transcriptional homeostasis. Changes in DNA methylation and expression show enrichment for symbiosis-related processes such as immunity, apoptosis, phagocytosis recognition and phagosome formation, and unveil intricate interactions between the underlying pathways. Our results demonstrate that DNA methylation provides an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional homeostasis during symbiosis.
CitationLi Y, Liew YJ, Cui G, Cziesielski MJ, Zahran N, et al. (2017) DNA methylation regulates transcriptional homeostasis of algal endosymbiosis in the coral model Aiptasia . Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/213066.
SponsorsResearch reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). We thank Prof. John Pringle for the provision of the initial Aiptasia CC7 and Symbiodinium SSB01 cultures. We thank Sebastian Baumgarten for his help with establishing the Aiptasia cultures and critical reading of the manuscript.
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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