Deciphering bacterial epigenomes using modern sequencing technologies

Nat Rev Genet. 2019 Mar;20(3):157-172. doi: 10.1038/s41576-018-0081-3.

Abstract

Prokaryotic DNA contains three types of methylation: N6-methyladenine, N4-methylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine. The lack of tools to analyse the frequency and distribution of methylated residues in bacterial genomes has prevented a full understanding of their functions. Now, advances in DNA sequencing technology, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing and nanopore-based sequencing, have provided new opportunities for systematic detection of all three forms of methylated DNA at a genome-wide scale and offer unprecedented opportunities for achieving a more complete understanding of bacterial epigenomes. Indeed, as the number of mapped bacterial methylomes approaches 2,000, increasing evidence supports roles for methylation in regulation of gene expression, virulence and pathogen-host interactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria* / genetics
  • Bacteria* / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Bacterial* / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial* / metabolism
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*

Substances

  • DNA, Bacterial