Hu J, Chen X, Zhang H, Ding Y
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic modifications play important roles in the regulation of plant development. DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that dynamically regulates gene expression during developmental processes. However, little studies have been reported about the methylation profiles of photoperiod- and thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (PTGMS) rice during the fertility transition. RESULTS: In this study, using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq), the global DNA methylation patterns were compared in the rice PTGMS line PA64S under two different environments (different temperatures and day lengths). The profiling of the DNA methylation under two different phenotypes (sterility and fertility) revealed that hypermethylation was observed in PA64S (sterility), and 1258 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were found between PA64S (sterility) and PA64S (fertility). Twenty differentially methylated genes of them were further validated through bisulfite sequencing, and four of these genes were analyzed by qRT-PCR. Especially, a differentially methylated gene (LOC_Os08g38210), which encoded transcription factor BIM2, is a component of brassinosteroid signaling in rice. The hypermethylated BIM2 gene may suppress some downstream genes in brassinosteroid signaling pathway, and thus affect the male fertility in PA64S. CONCLUSIONS: The results presented here indicated that hypermethylation was observed in PA64S (sterility). Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and KEGG analysis revealed that flavone and flavonol biosynthrsis, circadian rhythm, photosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation pathways were involved in sterility-fertility transition of PA64S.