A new technique for ecological epigenetics research

The ability to adapt and respond to environmental change is vital in terms of ecology and evolution. In plants there is strong evidence that some components of the epigenetic code, specifically DNA methylation patterns, are involved in short- and possibly long-term responses to environmental change. Ecological epigenetics has now been further advanced thanks to the development of a new technique. In collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and Radboud University Nijmegen, we have developed a new technique that is cheaper and faster than pre-existing next-generation techniques. With this technique we can now measure both genetic and epigenetic variation in random plant species, without extensive prior genomic knowledge. This is particularly useful for ecological studies in which we often study hundreds of samples of species with no prior information on the genome.

More information: Thomas van Gurp, Department of Terrestrial Ecology, NIOO-KNAW, t.vangurp@nioo.knaw.nl

Link to article: Nature Methods