• correlation analysis;
  • DNA methylation;
  • gene body;
  • gene duplication;
  • gene origin;
  • Ks;
  • rice (Oryza sativa)


  • Whole-genome duplication (WGD) has been recurring and single-gene duplication is also widespread in angiosperms. Recent whole-genome DNA methylation maps indicate that gene body methylation (i.e. of coding regions) has a functional role. However, whether gene body methylation is related to gene origins and duplication modes has yet to be reported.
  • In rice (Oryza sativa), we computed a body methylation level (proportion of methylated CpG within coding regions) for each gene in five tissues.
  • Body methylation levels follow a bimodal distribution, but show distinct patterns associated with transposable element-related genes; WGD, tandem, proximal and transposed duplicates; and singleton genes. For pairs of duplicated genes, divergence in body methylation levels increases with physical distance and synonymous (Ks) substitution rates, and WGDs show lower divergence than single-gene duplications of similar Ks levels. Intermediate body methylation tends to be associated with high levels of gene expression, whereas heavy body methylation is associated with lower levels of gene expression.
  • The biological trends revealed here are consistent across five rice tissues, indicating that genes of different origins and duplication modes have distinct body methylation patterns, and body methylation has a heterogeneous relationship with gene expression and may be related to survivorship of duplicated genes.