DNA methylation analysis of a male reproductive organ specific gene (MROS1) during pollen development
Pollen grains of angiosperm plants represent a good model system for studies of chromatin structure and remodelling factors, but very little is known about the DNA methylation status of particular genes in pollen. In this study, we present an analysis of the DNA methylation patterns of the MROS1 gene, which is expressed in the late phases of pollen development in Silene latifolia (syn. Meladrium album). The genomic sequencing technique revealed similar DNA methylation patterns in leaves, binucleate pollen, and trinucleate pollen. Extremely high DNA methylation levels occurred in the CG dinucleotides of the upstream region (99%), whereas only a low level of CG methylation was observed in the transcribed sequence (7%). Low levels of methylation were also observed in asymmetric sequences (in both regions; 2% methylated). The results obtained in the MROS1 gene are discussed in consequence with the immunohistochemical data showing a hypermethylation of DNA in the vegetative nucleus.