AuthorsLiew, Yi Jin
Howells, Emily J.
Burt, John A.
KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Marine Science Program
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
KAUST Grant NumberURF/1/3447-01-01
Preprint Posting Date2018-02-22
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/627197
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AbstractThe perception that the inheritance of phenotypic traits operates solely through genetic means is slowly being eroded: epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to induce heritable changes in gene activity in plants1,2 and metazoans1,3. Inheritance of DNA methylation patterns provides a potential pathway for environmentally induced phenotypes to contribute to evolution of species and populations1,2,3,4,5. However, in basal metazoans, it is unknown whether inheritance of CpG methylation patterns occurs across the genome (as in plants) or as rare exceptions (as in mammals)4. Here, we show that DNA methylation patterns in a reef-building coral are determined by genotype and developmental stage, as well as by parental environment. Transmission of CpG methylation from adults to their sperm and larvae demonstrates genome-wide inheritance. Variation in the hypermethylation of genes in adults and their sperm from distinct environments suggests intergenerational acclimatization to local temperature and salinity. Furthermore, genotype-independent adjustments of methylation levels in stress-related genes were strongly correlated with offspring survival rates under heat stress. These findings support a role of DNA methylation in the intergenerational inheritance of traits in corals, which could extend to enhancing their capacity to adapt to climate change.
CitationLiew, Y. J., Howells, E. J., Wang, X., Michell, C. T., Burt, J. A., Idaghdour, Y., & Aranda, M. (2020). Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in reef-building corals. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0687-2
SponsorsWe thank D. Abrego, G. Vaughan and D. McParland for assistance with fieldwork, coral spawning and the collection of environmental data. We thank the NYUAD Core Research Vessel and The Palms Dive Center for fieldwork support. We thank the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and Fujairah Municipality for research permits and the KAUST Sequencing Core Facility for the sequencing of the libraries. The research reported in this publication was supported by the KAUST OSR under grant no. URF/1/3447-01-01, as well as baseline support to M.A.; and by NYUAD research grant no. AD105 to Y.I.
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
JournalNature Climate Change
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is the BioRxiv preprint. The final published version is available from Nature Climate Change at: https://rdcu.be/b1AtI