Parent-of-origin methylation arises when the methylation patterns of a particular allele are dependent on the parent it was inherited from. Previous work in honey bees has shown evidence of parent-of-origin-specific expression, yet the mechanisms regulating such pattern remain unknown in honey bees. In mammals and plants, DNA methylation is known to regulate parent-of-origin effects such as genomic imprinting. Here, we utilize genotyping of reciprocal European and Africanized honey bee crosses to study genome-wide allele-specific methylation patterns in sterile and reproductive individuals. Our data confirm the presence of allele-specific methylation in honey bees in lineage-specific contexts but also importantly, though to a lesser degree, parent-of-origin contexts. We show that the majority of allele-specific methylation occurs due to lineage rather than parent-of-origin factors, regardless of the reproductive state. Interestingly, genes affected by allele-specific DNA methylation often exhibit both lineage and parent-of-origin effects, indicating that they are particularly labile in terms of DNA methylation patterns. Additionally, we re-analyzed our previous study on parent-of-origin-specific expression in honey bees and found little association with parent-of-origin-specific methylation. These results indicate strong genetic background effects on allelic DNA methylation and suggest that although parent-of-origin effects are manifested in both DNA methylation and gene expression, they are not directly associated with each other.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics