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Cytosine methylation in insects: new routes for the comprehension of insect complexity

Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 213/d, 41125 Modena, Italy

Special Issues: Chromatin and Epigenetics

Cytosine methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic modifications and its occurrence has been deeply studied in mammals and plants. DNA methylation (together with other epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones) plays an important role in different processes. Indeed, several morphological and/or behavioural traits may origin as a consequence of the epigenetic modulation of genes so that identical genes can results in different “morphs”. Despite considerable progress during recent years, many questions remain since it is largely unknown how the environment triggers alterations in the epigenome. In the present review we discuss the use of aphids and honey bees as epigenetic experimental model to understand how cytosine methylation is directly or indirectly linked to environmental factors. Indeed, the epigenetic changes of DNA could be at the basis of unexpected morphological differences explaining also complex traits.
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Keywords epigenetics; cytosine methylation; transcription control; aphid; honey bees

Citation: Mauro Mandrioli, Gian Carlo Manicardi. Cytosine methylation in insects: new routes for the comprehension of insect complexity. AIMS Biophysics, 2015, 2(4): 412-422. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2015.4.412

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