Grapevine and oak comparative epigenomic: Analysis of methylome dynamic underdrought stress (UMR EGFV / UMR BIOGECO in partnership with UMR MABioVis and Bordeaux Bioinfirmatic Center (CBiB)).
Global climate changes that includes several environmental constraints including drought, is a major concern that affects plant survival both in agro-systems and forest ecosystems. Indeed plants have evolved a wide range of mechanisms to cope with adverse environmental conditions that often lead to rapid and integrated reprogramming of gene expression patterns. Recent works have evidenced that epigenetic regulations, including DNA methylation, are essential to the responses of plants to environmental constraints, and may contribute to their long term adaptation to adverse conditions. In this context the METDRY project addresses the question of the potential involvement of genomic DNA methylation in the adaptation and responses to drought in woody perennial plants using grape and oak as representatives of cultivated plants and forest ecosystems respectively. METDRY makes use of Whole Genome Bisulfite Sequencing, an approach that allows a single base pair resolution of the genome wide DNA methylation landscape. It is based on the comparative analysis of methylomes, transcriptomes and small RNA populations in a drought sensitive and drought tolerant species in grapevine and oak and aims at identifying differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and gene expression profiles linked to long term adaptation to drought. The study of the dynamic of methylomes and transcriptomes in response to drought will provide totally new information of the epigenetic reprogramming of gene expression under stress in each genus using contrasted phenotypes. Validation of DMRs and their potential use as epigenetic markers for drought stress and/ or adaptation will be investigated using a segregating population and using natural along an edaphic gradient in grape and oak respectively. Finally comparing oak and grape should lead to identifying the conserved roles of DNA methylation in drought adaptation and responses in natural populations and in cultivated plants.