Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 13:117 | Cite as

Variation of cytosine methylation patterns in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.)

  • Matúš HrivnákEmail author
  • Diana Krajmerová
  • Josef Frýdl
  • Dušan Gömöry
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Genome Biology


The role of epigenetic phenomena in plant adaptation is becoming widely recognized and the potential of epigenetics for forestry practice has been demonstrated as well. In this study, methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) markers were investigated in 20 European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provenances that cover most of Europe and were planted in two climatically contrasting provenance trial plots. Correlations of cytosine-methylation patterns at five loci and overall DNA methylation with climatic conditions of the sites of population origin and budburst phenology were detected, suggesting that methylation at particular loci was influenced by the weather or photoperiod during embryogenesis or even earlier. Alternation of methylation patterns may also have been caused by genetic mutation. Frequencies of methylation patterns at three loci differed between the two trial locations, indicating that a climatically induced change of methylation during the ontogeny occurs as well. The results suggest that the rules for collection, transfer, and use of forest reproductive materials should also consider epigenetic effects.


Epigenetics MSAP Fagus sylvatica Provenance trial Association studies 



The provenance experiment has been established through the realization of the project European Network for the Evaluation of the Genetic Resources of Beech for Appropriate Use in Sustainable Forestry Management (AIR3-CT94-2091) under the coordination of H.-J. Muhs and G. von Wühlisch. The experimental plots Tále and Zbraslav were established by L. Paule and V. Hynek, respectively. The study was supported by a research grant of the Slovak Research and Development Agency APVV-0135-12 and the project of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic—Resolution RO0117 (reference number 6779/2017-MZE-14151.).We also thank to K. Willingham for linguistic correction.

Data Archiving Statement

MSAP profile data have been deposited at the TreeGenes Data Repository ( under the accession number TGDR069.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matúš Hrivnák
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diana Krajmerová
    • 1
  • Josef Frýdl
    • 2
  • Dušan Gömöry
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ForestryTechnical University in ZvolenZvolenSlovakia
  2. 2.Forestry and Game Management Research InstituteJílovištěCzech Republic

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