Publications - Published papers

Please find below publications of our group. Currently, we list 508 papers. Some of the publications are in collaboration with the group of Sonja Prohaska and are also listed in the publication list for her individual group. Access to published papers (access) is restricted to our local network and chosen collaborators. If you have problems accessing electronic information, please let us know:

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The Genome of the Stick Insect Medauroidea extradentata Is Strongly Methylated within Genes and Repetitive DNA

Veiko Krauss, Carina Eisenhardt und Tina Unger


PREPRINT 09-030:
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PLoS ONE 4(9): e7223.


<b>Background</b><br/> Cytosine DNA methylation has been detected in many eukaryotic organisms and has been shown to play an important role in development and disease of vertebrates including humans. Molecularly, DNA methylation appears to be involved in the suppression of initiation or of elongation of transcription. Resulting organismal functions are suggested to be the regulation of gene silencing, the suppression of transposon activity and the suppression of initiation of transcription within genes. However, some data concerning the distribution of methylcytosine in insect species appear to contradict such roles. <br/><br/> <b>Principal Findings</b><br/> By comparison of MspI and HpaII restriction patterns in genomic DNA of several insects we show that stick insects (Phasmatodea) have highly methylated genomes. We isolated methylated DNA fragments from the Vietnamese Walking Stick Medauroidea extradentata (formerly known as Baculum extradentatum) and demonstrated that most of the corresponding sequences are repetitive. Bisulfite sequencing of one of these fragments and of parts of conserved protein-coding genes revealed a methylcytosine content of 12.6%, mostly found at CpG, but also at CpT and CpA dinucleotides. Corresponding depletions of CpG and enrichments of TpG and CpA dinucleotides in some highly conserved protein-coding genes of Medauroidea reach a similar degree as in vertebrates and show that CpG methylation has occurred in the germline of these insects. <br/><br/> <b>Conclusions</b><br/> Using four different methods, we demonstrate that the genome of Medauroidea extradentata is strongly methylated. Both repetitive DNA and coding genes appear to contain high levels of methylcytosines. These results argue for similar functions of DNA methylation in stick insects as those already known for vertebrates.