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Accession IconSRP017685

Conservation and Divergence of Transcriptomic and Epigenomic Variations in Maize Hybrids

Organism Icon Zea mays
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Technology Badge IconIllumina Genome Analyzer

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The complexity of the maize (Zea mays) genome makes it an ideal system for the study of both genetics and epigenetics. Here, we generated the integrated maps of transcriptomes and epigenomes of shoots and roots of two maize inbred lines and their reciprocal hybrids, and globally surveyed the epigenetic variations and their relationships with transcriptional divergence between different tissues and different genotypes. We observed that whereas histone modifications vary both between tissues and between genotypes, DNA methylation patterns are more distinguishable between genotypes than between tissues. Histone modifications were associated with transcriptomic divergence between tissues and between hybrids and parents. Further, we show that genes up-regulated in both shoots and roots of hybrids were significantly enriched in the nucleosome assembly pathway. Interestingly, 22- and 24-nt siRNAs were shown to be derived from distinct transposable elements (TEs), and for different TEs in both shoots and roots, the differences in siRNA activity between hybrids and patents were primarily driven by different siRNA species. Together, our results suggest that despite of the variations in specific genes or genomic loci, similar mechanisms may account for the genome-wide epigenetic regulation of gene activity and transposon stability in different tissues of maize hybrids. Overall design: Genome-wide integrated maps of mRNA and small RNA (sRNA) transcriptomes, DNA methylomes and genome-wide distribution of three representative histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K9ac and H3K36me3) in the shoots and roots of 14 day old seedlings of two maize inbred lines (B73 and Mo17) and their reciprocal hybrids (B73 x Mo17 and Mo17 x B73).
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