The importance of validating the demethylating effect of 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine in model species: (A comment on Cook et al., “DNA methylation and sex allocation in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis”)

Jacintha Ellers*, Michael Visser, Janine Mariën, Ken Kraaijeveld, Mark Lammers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalComment / Letter to the editorAcademic

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    Abstract

    The use of DNA demethylating agents has been popular in epigenetic studies. Recently, Cook and colleagues, in a 2015 American Naturalist article, claimed an effect of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) on the sex ratio of a parasitoid wasp without verifying its effect on DNA methylation. We repeated the 5-aza-dC feeding treatment to test its effectiveness. We used bisulfite amplicon sequencing of 10 genes that either were heavily methylated, previously showed a response to 5-aza-dC, or were suggested to regulate fatty acid synthesis epigenetically, and we demonstrate that wasps fed 5-aza-dC did not show reduced DNA methylation at these loci. Therefore, the conclusion that demethylation shifts sex ratios upward needs reconsideration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)422-431
    Number of pages10
    JournalAmerican Naturalist
    Volume194
    Issue number3
    Early online date9 Jul 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Keywords

    • Bisulfite amplicon sequencing
    • DNA methylation
    • Fatty acid synthesis
    • Nasonia vitripennis
    • Parasitoid
    • Sex ratio

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