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Low Incubation temperature induces DNA hypomethylation in lizard brains


Paredes, U and Radersma, R and Cannell, N and While, GM and Uller, T, Low Incubation temperature induces DNA hypomethylation in lizard brains, Journal of Experimental Zoology: Part A, 325, (6) pp. 390-395. ISSN 1932-5223 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1002/jez.2024


Developmental stress can have organizational effects on suites of physiological, morphological, and behavioral characteristics. In lizards, incubation temperature is perhaps the most significant environmental variable affecting embryonic development. Wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) recently introduced by humans from Italy to England experience stressfully cool incubation conditions, which we here show reduce growth and increase the incidence of scale malformations. Using a methylation-sensitive AFLP protocol optimized for vertebrates, we demonstrate that this low incubation temperature also causes hypomethylation of DNA in brain tissue. A consistent pattern across methylation-susceptible AFLP loci suggests that hypomethylation is a general response and not limited to certain CpG sites. The functional consequences of hypomethylation are unknown, but it could contribute to genome stability and regulation of gene expression. Further studies of the effects of incubation temperature on DNA methylation in ectotherm vertebrates may reveal mechanisms that explain why the embryonic thermal environment often has physiological and behavioral consequences for offspring.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:lizards, brain, epigenetics, methylation, temperature
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Epigenetics (incl. genome methylation and epigenomics)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:While, GM (Associate Professor Geoff While)
ID Code:109594
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-06-22
Last Modified:2018-03-17

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