Finding the fifth base: genome-wide sequencing of cytosine methylation

Genome Res. 2009 Jun;19(6):959-66. doi: 10.1101/gr.083451.108. Epub 2009 Mar 9.


Complete sequences of myriad eukaryotic genomes, including several human genomes, are now available, and recent dramatic developments in DNA sequencing technology are opening the floodgates to vast volumes of sequence data. Yet, despite knowing for several decades that a significant proportion of cytosines in the genomes of plants and animals are present in the form of methylcytosine, until very recently the precise locations of these modified bases have never been accurately mapped throughout a eukaryotic genome. Advanced "next-generation" DNA sequencing technologies are now enabling the global mapping of this epigenetic modification at single-base resolution, providing new insights into the regulation and dynamics of DNA methylation in genomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methylcytosine / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics
  • Humans
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / instrumentation
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*


  • 5-Methylcytosine