A high-resolution whole-genome map of key chromatin modifications in the adult Drosophila melanogaster

PLoS Genet. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002380. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002380. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Epigenetic research has been focused on cell-type-specific regulation; less is known about common features of epigenetic programming shared by diverse cell types within an organism. Here, we report a modified method for chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq) and its use to construct a high-resolution map of the Drosophila melanogaster key histone marks, heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) and RNA polymerase II (polII). These factors are mapped at 50-bp resolution genome-wide and at 5-bp resolution for regulatory sequences of genes, which reveals fundamental features of chromatin modification landscape shared by major adult Drosophila cell types: the enrichment of both heterochromatic and euchromatic marks in transposons and repetitive sequences, the accumulation of HP1a at transcription start sites with stalled polII, the signatures of histone code and polII level/position around the transcriptional start sites that predict both the mRNA level and functionality of genes, and the enrichment of elongating polII within exons at splicing junctions. These features, likely conserved among diverse epigenomes, reveal general strategies for chromatin modifications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation / methods*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Euchromatin / genetics
  • Genome, Insect / genetics*
  • Heterochromatin / genetics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics
  • Retroelements / genetics
  • Transcription Initiation Site


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Euchromatin
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones
  • Retroelements
  • heterochromatin protein 1, Drosophila
  • RNA Polymerase II