Exploring Transcriptional Silencing of Transposons in Zebrafish
Halpern, Marnie E.
Goll, Mary G.
Broache, Molly B.
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DNA methylation plays a critical role as an epigenetic modifier in plants and mammals, however it is absent from many invertebrate genomes. Although DNA methylation is known to be present in zebrafish, there is limited research on its function. In plants and mammals, one critical function of DNA methylation is the repression of transposable elements, parasitic elements that can be detrimental to the host genome. While it is known that transposons are present in the zebrafish genome, it is unknown whether their expression is dependent on methylation. I examined expression of two transposons, dirs and bhikhari, in wild type embryos and in embryos with hypomethylated genomes. Preliminary data show the unexpected result that expression of some transposons is not regulated by DNA methylation in the zebrafish larva.