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Keywords:

  • DNA methylation;
  • gene expression;
  • imprinting;
  • transposons;
  • epigenetics

Abstract

Cytosine DNA methylation has been demonstrated in numerous eukaryotic organisms and has been shown to play an important role in human disease. The function of DNA methylation has been studied extensively in vertebrates, but establishing its primary role has proved difficult and controversial. Analysing methylation in insects has indicated an apparent functional diversity that seems to argue against a strict functional conservation. To investigate this hypothesis, we here assess the data reported in four different insect species in which DNA methylation has been analysed more thoroughly: the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae and the mealybug Planococcus citri.