PloS one

Comparative analysis of genome-wide chromosomal histone modification patterns in maize cultivars and their wild relatives.

PMID 24819606


Recent advances demonstrate that epigenome changes can also cause phenotypic diversity and can be heritable across generations, indicating that they may play an important role in evolutionary processes. In this study, we analyzed the chromosomal distribution of several histone modifications in five elite maize cultivars (B73, Mo17, Chang7-2, Zheng58, ZD958) and their two wild relatives (Zea mays L. ssp. parviglumis and Zea nicaraguensis) using a three-dimensional (3D) epigenome karyotyping approach by combining immunostaining and 3D reconstruction with deconvolution techniques. The distribution of these histone modifications along chromosomes demonstrated that the histone modification patterns are conserved at the chromosomal level and have not changed significantly following domestication. The comparison of histone modification patterns between metaphase chromosomes and interphase nuclei showed that some of the histone modifications were retained as the cell progressed from interphase into metaphase, although remodelling existed. This study will increase comprehension of the function of epigenetic modifications in the structure and evolution of the maize genome.

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