Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 287, Issue 8, pp 643–650

Natural epigenetic variation in the female great roundleaf bat (Hipposideros armiger) populations

  • Sen Liu
  • Keping Sun
  • Tinglei Jiang
  • Jennifer P. Ho
  • Bao Liu
  • Jiang Feng
Original Paper

Abstract

Epigenetic modifications are considered to have an important role in evolution. DNA methylation is one of the best studied epigenetic mechanisms and methylation variability is crucial for promoting phenotypic diversification of organisms in response to environmental variation. A critical first step in the assessment of the potential role of epigenetic variation in evolution is the identification of DNA methylation polymorphisms and their relationship with genetic variations in natural populations. However, empirical data is scant in animals, and particularly so in wild mammals. Bats are considered as bioindicators because of their sensitivity to environmental perturbations and they may present an opportunity to explore epigenetic variance in wild mammalian populations. Our study is the first to explore these questions in the female great roundleaf bat (Hipposideros armiger) populations using the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique. We obtained 868 MSAP sites using 18 primer combinations and found (1) a low genomic methylation level (21.3 % on average), but extensive DNA methylation polymorphism (90.2 %) at 5′-CCGG-3′ sites; (2) epigenetic variation that is structured into distinct between- (29.8 %) and within- (71.2 %) population components, as does genetic variation; and (3) a significant correlation between epigenetic and genetic variations (P < 0.05). These results may also apply to other wild mammalian populations. The possible causes for the correlation between epigenetic and genetic variations are discussed.

Keywords

Chiroptera DNA methylation Mammal MSAP 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sen Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Keping Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tinglei Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jennifer P. Ho
    • 3
  • Bao Liu
    • 4
  • Jiang Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Jilin Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and UtilizationNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration of National Environmental ProtectionNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  3. 3.Department of Integrative Biology and PhysiologyUCLALos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE and Institute of Genetics and CytologyNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina

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