DNA methylation in plants

Angus G. Hepburn, Faith C. Belanger, James R. Mattheis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Higher plant DNA is extensively methylated, but the two methylated sequences (CpG and CpNpG) show different characteristics. Using sequence analysis techniques, we demonstrate that while CpG methylation follows the existing models for cytosine methylation in animals, CpNpG methylation does not. Although there is evidence to support the suggestion that the low CpG frequency has arisen from deaminational conversion of 5‐methylcytosine to thymidine, there appears to be no comparable conversion of 5‐methylcytosine in the CpNpG configuration. It therefore appears that between the evolution of CpG and CpNpG cytosine methylation systems, a mechanism evolved for the correction of C→T conversion, probably using the methylated strand to direct the repair in the correct direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-493
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopmental Genetics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Adh1
  • Arabidopsis
  • CpG‐rich islands
  • Zea
  • methylation
  • transformed DNA


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