DNA methylation and “Arms Race” at the molecular level in dinoflagellates

Dr. Senjie Lin and colleagues in several countries published a discovery that DNA methylation, an immune like mechanism in unicellular organisms to silence expression of “invading” DNA, has been “hijacked” by a type of invading DNA (retroposon) in dinoflagellates and other eukaryotes. Recently published in Nature Communications, the work suggests that at least in the dinoflagellates, the acquired DNA methylation can potentially help the invading DNA to evade the immune like machinery of the cell. If proven, this will be an intriguing case of “arms race” at the molecular level.

Link to the publication: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03724-9