Two different methods were used to investigate the abundance of cytosine methylation at the outer (5') position in 5'-CCG-3' trinucleotides in angiosperm genomes. Mspl is unable to cut its target site if the outer cytosine is methylated (5'-mCCGG-3'). Using Mspl restriction analysis, it was shown that 5'-mCCG-3' is present in all angiosperm genomes examined, and that the amount of cytosine methylation at this site varies between species. Subsequently, direct measurements were made of the amount of methylation at both cytosines in a subset of 5'-CCG-3' trinucleotides in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Based upon these analyses, it was estimated that approximately 20-30% of 5'-CCG-3' trinucleotides in A. thaliana are methylated at the outer cytosine. Approximately 20% of the 5'-CCG-3' trinucleotides contain 5-methyl-cytosine at the inner cytosine position, which corresponds to a previous determination of 5'-mCG-3' methylation in A. thaliana. The implications of 5'-mCCG-3' methylation are discussed.