, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 927-930
Date: 16 Jan 2008

Utility of the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) marker for detection of DNA methylation polymorphism and epigenetic population structure in a wild barley species (Hordeum brevisubulatum)

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We report here that by using a modified scoring criterion, the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism or MSAP marker can be used effectively to detect polymorphism in DNA methylation patterns within and among populations of a perennial wild barley species, Hordeum brevisubulatum. Twenty-four selected individual genotypes representing four natural populations of H. brevisubulatum distributed in the Songnen Prairie in northeastern China were studied. The utility of MSAP was evidenced by its detection of high levels of polymorphism in DNA methylation patterns between individuals within a given population, and the clear inter-population differentiation in methylation patterns (methylation-based epigenetic population structure) revealed among the four populations. The resolving power of MSAP to detect DNA methylation polymorphism was found to be comparable with that of a retrotransposon-based sequence-specific amplified polymorphism marker, or SSAP, to detect genetic polymorphism in the same set of plants, suggesting that MSAP with a modified scoring criterion can be used efficiently to detect DNA methylation polymorphism and assess epigenetic population structure in natural plant populations.