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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346877

Research Project: Enhancing Genetic Merit of Ruminants Through Improved Genome Assembly, Annotation, and Selection

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Title: Comparative whole genome DNA methylation profiling of cattle sperm and somatic tissues reveals striking hypomethylated patterns in sperm

Author
item Zhou, Yang - Huazhong Agricultural University
item Connor, Erin
item Bickhart, Derek
item Li, Congjun
item Baldwin, Ransom - Randy
item Schroeder, Steven - Steve
item Rosen, Benjamin
item Yang, Linguo - Huazhong Agricultural University
item Van Tassell, Curtis - Curt
item Liu, Ge - George

Submitted to: Gigascience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2018
Publication Date: 4/10/2018
Citation: Zhou, Y., Connor, E.E., Bickhart, D.M., Li, C., Baldwin, R.L., Schroeder, S.G., Rosen, B.D., Yang, L., Van Tassell, C.P., Liu, G. 2018. Comparative whole genome DNA methylation profiling of cattle sperm and somatic tissues reveals striking hypomethylated patterns in sperm. Gigascience. 7(5):1-13. https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giy039.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giy039

Interpretive Summary: DNA methylation plays important roles in many processes like gene expression, genomic imprinting, repression of transposable elements, and gametogenesis. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS), we profiled the DNA methylome of cattle sperms through comparison with three bovine somatic tissues (mammary grand, brain and blood). Our study provides a comprehensive resource for bovine sperm epigenomic research and enables new discoveries about DNA methylation and its role in male fertility. Farmers, scientist, and policy planners who need improve animal health and production based on genome-enable animal selection will benefit from this study.

Technical Abstract: Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS), we profiled the DNA methylome of cattle sperms through comparison with three bovine somatic tissues (mammary grand, brain and blood). Large differences between them were observed in the methylation patterns of global CpGs, pericentromeric satellites, partially methylated domains (PMDs), hypomethylated regions (HMRs) and common repeats. We detected selective hypomethylation of megabase domains of centromeric satellite clusters in sperms, which may be related with chromosome segregation during meiosis and their rapid transcriptional activation upon fertilization. We found more PMDs in the sperms than in the somatic tissues and identified sperm meiosis-related genes like KIF2B and REPIN1. Besides the common HMRs around gene promoters which showed substantial differences, the sperm-specific HMRs also targeted to distinct spermatogenesis-related genes, including BOLL, ASZ1, MAEL, PLD6, CTCFL, SYCP3, SYCE1, MND1, SPATA22, and DDX4. Although common repeats were heavily methylated, some hypomethylated repeats were enriched in gene promoters with large variations among tissues. For example, some young Bov-A2 repeats, which belong to the SINE family, were hypomethylated and could affect the promoter structures by introducing new regulatory elements. Our study provides a comprehensive resource for bovine sperm epigenomic research and enables new discoveries about DNA methylation and its role in male fertility.