N6-Methyladenine (6mA) DNA methylation has recently been implicated as a potential new epigenetic marker in eukaryotes, including the dicot model Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the conservation and divergence of 6mA distribution patterns and functions in plants remain elusive. Here we report high-quality 6mA methylomes at single-nucleotide resolution in rice based on substantially improved genome sequences of two rice cultivars, Nipponbare (Nip; Japonica) and 93-11 (Indica). Analysis of 6mA genomic distribution and its association with transcription suggest that 6mA distribution and function is rather conserved between rice and Arabidopsis. We found that 6mA levels are positively correlated with the expression of key stress-related genes, which may be responsible for the difference in stress tolerance between Nip and 93-11. Moreover, we showed that mutations in DDM1 cause defects in plant growth and decreased 6mA level. Our results reveal that 6mA is a conserved DNA modification that is positively associated with gene expression and contributes to key agronomic traits in plants. Copyright © 2018 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Journal: Molecular plant