Cytosine methylation patterns suggest a role of methylation in plastic and adaptive responses to temperature in European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) populations

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Savilammi , T , Papakostas , S , Leder , E H , Vollestad , L A , Debes , P V & Primmer , C R 2021 , ' Cytosine methylation patterns suggest a role of methylation in plastic and adaptive responses to temperature in European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) populations ' , Epigenetics , vol. 16 , no. 3 , pp. 271-288 . https://doi.org/10.1080/15592294.2020.1795597

Title: Cytosine methylation patterns suggest a role of methylation in plastic and adaptive responses to temperature in European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) populations
Author: Savilammi, Tiina; Papakostas, Spiros; Leder, Erica H.; Vollestad, L. Asbjorn; Debes, Paul V.; Primmer, Craig R.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Evolution, Conservation, and Genomics
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Date: 2021-03-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: Epigenetics
ISSN: 1559-2294
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/332687
Abstract: Temperature is a key environmental parameter affecting both the phenotypes and distributions of organisms, particularly ectotherms. Rapid organismal responses to thermal environmental changes have been described for several ectotherms; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms often remain unclear. Here, we studied whole genome cytosine methylation patterns of European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) embryos from five populations with contemporary adaptations of early life history traits at either 'colder' or 'warmer' spawning grounds. We reared fish embryos in a common garden experiment using two temperatures that resembled the 'colder' and 'warmer' conditions of the natal natural environments. Genome-wide methylation patterns were similar in populations originating from colder thermal origin subpopulations, whereas single nucleotide polymorphisms uncovered from the same data identified strong population structure among isolated populations, but limited structure among interconnected populations. This was surprising because the previously studied gene expression response among populations was mostly plastic, and mainly influenced by the developmental temperature. These findings support the hypothesis of the magnified role of epigenetic mechanisms in modulating plasticity. The abundance of consistently changing methylation loci between two warmer-to-colder thermal origin population pairs suggests that local adaptation has shaped the observed methylation patterns. The dynamic nature of the methylomes was further highlighted by genome-wide and site-specific plastic responses. Our findings support both the presence of a plastic response in a subset of CpG loci, and the evolutionary role of methylation divergence between populations adapting to contrasting thermal environments.
Subject: Cytosine methylation
epigenetic variation
SNP
transcription
promoter
salmonid
thermal adaptation
developmental plasticity
INTRAGENIC DNA METHYLATION
PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY
GENE-EXPRESSION
THERMAL PLASTICITY
CLIMATE-CHANGE
EVOLUTION
ADAPTATION
PROMOTER
INSIGHTS
DATABASE
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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