Special Issue "The Enigmatic Role of DNA Methylation in Invertebrates"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 November 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Christoph Grunau
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Interactions of Hosts, Pathogens and their Environments (IHPE), Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, Perpignan, France
Interests: evolution; epigenetics; parasitology; plasticity; systems biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invertebrates are the largest and most heterogeneous group of animals on the planet. Their actions are shaping the biosphere and impact human health and well-being. Arthropods and mollusks not only have an indirect impact on agronomy as, e.g., pollinators or pests, but also are increasingly used as a source of animal proteins. The evolutionary success of invertebrates is related to their high phenotypic plasticity. It is now recognized that epigenetics, i.e., mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence, is one of the major contributors to phenotypic plasticity.

The nucleotide 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC) is a major bearer of epigenetic information. The understanding of its function is largely limited to model organisms of mammals and flowering plants, where the admitted paradigm is that promoter DNA methylation contributes to heterochromatization. In contrast, invertebrates exclusively display gene body DNA methylation, whose function remains incompletely understood. Many invertebrate methylomes are of the mosaic type, with methylated and unmethylated DNA organized in large, interspaced blocks. This type of methylation is found in very distant phylogenetic clades, indicating convergent evolution under a functional constraint. Also, DNA methylation “writers” and “erasers” in invertebrates are almost identical to the ones in vertebrates; however, in invertebrates, high methylation is often associated with transcription. The “readers” that convey DNA methylation information into chromatin structure are probably different in invertebrates compared to vertebrates.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide new insights into the specific role(s) of DNA methylation in invertebrates and provide a new refreshing perspective on its importance.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Grunau
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • invertebrates
  • epigenetics
  • DNA methylation
  • gene expression
  • gene body methylation
  • plasticity

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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