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Data from: Jack of all nectars, master of most: DNA methylation and the epigenetic basis of niche width in a flower-living yeast


Herrera, Carlos M.; Pozo, María I.; Bazaga, Pilar (2015), Data from: Jack of all nectars, master of most: DNA methylation and the epigenetic basis of niche width in a flower-living yeast, Dryad, Dataset,


In addition to genetic differences between individuals due to nucleotide sequence variation, epigenetic changes experienced by genotypes due to DNA methylation may also contribute to population niche width, an intriguing possibility that remains essentially untested. Using the nectar-living yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii as study subject, we examine the hypothesis that changes in genome-wide DNA methylation patterns underly the ability of this fugitive species to exploit a broad resource range in its heterogeneous patchy environment. Data on floral nectar characteristics and use by M. reukaufii in the wild were combined with laboratory experiments and methylation sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analyses designed to detect epigenetic responses of single genotypes to variations in sugar environment that mimicked those occurring naturally in nectar. Metschnikowia reukaufii exploited a broad range of resources, occurring in nectar of 48% of species and 52% of families surveyed, and its host plants exhibited broad intra- and interspecific variation in sugar-related nectar features. Under experimental conditions, sugar composition, sugar concentration, and their interaction influenced significantly the mean probability of MSAP markers experiencing a transition from unmethylated to methylated state. The methylation inhibitor 5-Azacytidine had strong inhibitory effects on M. reukaufii proliferation in sugar-containing media, and a direct relationship existed across sugar x concentration experimental levels linking inhibitory effect of 5-Azacytidine and mean per-marker probability of genome-wide methylation. DNA methylation polymorphisms induced by variable sugar environments allowed genotypes to grow successfully in extreme sugar environments, and the broad population niche width of M. reukaufii was largely made possible by environmentally-induced epigenetic changes enabling genotype plasticity in resource use.

Usage Notes


Sierra de Cazorla
Jaen Province
southeastern Spain