In humans, telomere length studies have acquired great relevance because the length of telomeres has been related to natural processes like disease, aging and cancer. However, very little is known about the influence of telomere length on the biology of wild type plants. The length of plant telomeres has been usually studied by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF) analyses. This technique requires high amounts of tissue, including multiple cell types, which might be the reason why very little is known about the influence of telomere length on plant natural processes. In contrast, many of the human telomere length studies have focused on homogenous cell populations. Most of these studies have been performed by PCR, using telomeric degenerated primers, which allow the determination of telomere length from small amounts of human cells. Here, we have adapted the human PCRprocedure to analyze the length of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. This PCR approach will facilitate the analysis of telomere length from low amounts of tissue. We have used it to determine that CG and non CG DNA methylation positively regulates Arabidopsis telomere length.
The article is published online in the journal Scientific Reports and is free to access.