We report on the development of a methylation analysis workflow for optical detection of fluorescent methylation profiles along chromosomal DNA molecules. In combination with Bionano Genomics genome mapping technology, these profiles provide a hybrid genetic/epigenetic genome-wide map composed of DNA molecules spanning hundreds of kilobase pairs. The method provides kilobase pair-scale genomic methylation patterns comparable to whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) along genes and regulatory elements. These long single-molecule reads allow for methylation variation calling and analysis of large structural aberrations such as pathogenic macrosatellite arrays not accessible to single-cell second-generation sequencing. The method is applied here to study facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), simultaneously recording the haplotype, copy number, and methylation status of the disease-associated, highly repetitive locus on Chromosome 4q.
© 2019 Sharim et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.