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Takara News - Vol. 5

Takara News  

Epigenetics | Vol. 8, 2013

In This Issue

 |  The Power of Epigenetics  Video: Epigenetics Research Tools  |  Hot Summer Sale - Ending Soon!  |
|  Think Fast: Time-saving PCR, qPCR, & RT-qPCR 
Call for Epigenetics Researchers: Takara Bio Field Testers  | 
 |  Focus on TaKaRa EpiTaq™ HS   |
   Meet Us at ASHG 2013  |  From the Literature: Epigenetics & Plant Defense  |
  In Closing  |

    The Power of Epigenetics

chromosome diagram




If the Universal Genetic Code is the Language of Biology, Epigenetics is Poetry

In recent years, the power of epigenetics to regulate biological processes has become increasingly evident. Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression that are not due to nucleotide sequence alterations. The main eukaryotic epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and post-translational histone modification, ultimately affect the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional machinery and thereby alter the degree to which genes are expressed. Environmental and developmental factors alike can influence epigenetic regulation, normal developmental processes in utero and throughout childhood, exposure to certain environmental chemicals (such as metals, air pollutants, and endocrine disruptors), and some pharmaceuticals can all lead to epigenetic changes. Ultimately, epigenetic processes can affect genes regulating many diseases including cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and mental disorders. For this reason, biomedical researchers are increasingly turning to epigenetic analyses to understand both normal human development and disease progression. Other epigenetically-regulated biological processes include plant responses to environmental stress, fungal production of mycotoxins, and bacterial virulence (through DNA adenine methylation, an epigenetic signal found in some prokaryotes.)

Researchers studying DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromosome remodeling rely on a wide range of molecular techniques. Clontech® and Takara® kits, antibodies, and enzymes are relied upon by scientists worldwide for robust performance in techniques such as amplification of bisulfite-modified DNA during DNA methylation analysis, nucleosome preparation, methylation-specific PCR, chromosome immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and analysis of histone modifications. Interested in learning more about DNA methylation analysis? Download an Application Note by clicking here.


Video: Epigenetics Research Tools

Epigenetics research uses an array of different molecular techniques for analyzing DNA methylation and histone modification. Learn more about Combined Bisulfite Restriction Analysis (COBRA), bisulfite sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), nucleosome preparation, and methylation-specific PCR in an archived webinar presented by Dr. Cornelia Hampe, Product Manager for Takara Bio Europe. Watch from the comfort of your desk, tablet, or smart phone, and learn how to choose the appropriate method for your epigenetics research project.

Click here to watch the video!

  Epigenetics Webinar

  Takara's Hot  Summer Sale


Stock Up on Reagents & Save 25% with the Hot Summer Sale

Is your summer research heating up? Don’t be caught running low on reagents - stock up now on your favorite Takara products, and save 25%. Speed up your reaction time and overcome tough PCR scenarios with PrimeSTAR® Max or GXL Polymerase, run genotyping PCR for 25 cents/reaction with EmeraldAmp® GT Master Mix, and generate trustworthy SYBR® Green or TaqMan® qPCR data with premixes that include TaKaRa Ex Taq® polymerase and Tli RNase H – and more! It’s our biggest discount of the year: the Hot Summer Sale. Order now and save!

Click here to learn more about the Hot Summer Sale!
Cite Sales Agreement 13506 when ordering*
Offer expires 9.30.2013

*Discount pricing only available on sizes listed. Cite Sales Agreement 13506 when ordering to receive the discount.
Offers Valid in the U.S. and Canada through September 30, 2013.
Void where prohibited by federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or agency/institutional policy.
Orders must be placed directly with Clontech to receive discount pricing.


Think Fast: Time-saving Techniques for PCR, qPCR, and RT-qPCR

How much time do you spend waiting for PCR and qPCR reactions? We guarantee it’s too much. What if you could cut your PCR time in half? Research breakthroughs are around the corner – don’t keep them waiting. Learn more about fast PCR in our new series of four videos. Watch them all (they're fast!)

Click here to watch the videos!

  Think Fast

    Takara Bio Field Testers: Whole-Genome Bisulfite Sequencing
  Become a                                                                                                          Takara Bio Field Tester!  

We're recruiting a select group of Takara Field Tester scientists who perform whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS). Are you willing to compare TaKaRa EpiTaq™ HS polymerase to the enzyme you currently use for whole genome bisulfite sequencing? Let us know - sign up to become a Takara Field Tester.

Upon project completion field testers qualify for a $100 amazon.com gift card or a 40% discount on their next purchase of Takara products.

Interested? Sign up today! 

    Focus on TaKaRa EpiTaq HS Polymerase: Amplify Bisulfite-Treated DNA Efficiently

TaKaRa EpiTaq HS


EpiTaq HS


When analyzing DNA methylation status of specific CpG regions, treatment of DNA with bisulfite allows detection of 5-methylcytosine residues. Bisulfite converts unmethylated cytosine residues to uracil, but 5-methylcytosine residues remain unconverted. However, many commercially available polymerases are incapable of efficiently amplifying uracil-containing bisulfite-treated DNA. PCR failure or amplification of truncated products is common.

TaKaRa EpiTaq HS polymerase not only has superior amplification capabilities, but allows a streamlined approach to fine-tuning of magnesium and dNTP concentrations, resulting in success where other enzyme systems fail. The feedback from scientists who have tested EpiTaq HS polymerase has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are examples of what scientists have to say:

  • "After weeks of struggling with this [with other enzymes] your polymerase worked like a champ." – scientist at Geisinger Medical Center

  • "I have tried my PCR with several different enzymes. With TaKaRa EpiTaq HS, I have gotten my PCR to work." – scientist at Douglas Hospital

  • "In comparison to Taq2000 polymerase provided in the Agilent SureSelect Methyl-Seq Target enrichment system: we observe a more efficient amplification of bisulfite converted DNA than with the provided Taq2000 polymerase." – scientist at McGill University

  • "TaKaRa EpiTaq for amplifying bisulfite treated DNA worked really well." – Scientist at University  of Kansas

  • "I was having difficulty amplifying PCR products from bisulfite-treated DNA. TaKaRa EpiTaq was able to successfully amplify products using with all of my primer combinations. I was able to amplify a product of ~1000 bp, where with other polymerases I was lucky to get up to 300 bp." – scientist at University of Saskatchewan

Try TaKaRa EpiTaq HS for your next experiment involving bisulfite-treated DNA, and let us know your thoughts!


ASHG 2013



Meet Takara & Clontech 
American Society of Human Genetics | October 22-26, 2013 | Boston, MA

Join Clontech and Takara representatives at the 2013 ASHG Annual Meeting at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center. This meeting brings together over 6,500 attendees to discuss new developments in basic, translational and clinical human genetics research and technology. Stop by booth #423 to learn more about research tools for human genetics researchers – and check out some very special offers!

    From the Literature: Epigenetic Basis of Plant Memory 


maize field

Identification of a possible epigenetic mechanism for memory of interplant communications using TaKaRa EpiTaq HS DNA polymerase 

Ali et al. (2013) Memory of plant communications for priming anti-herbivore responses. Sci. Reports 3:1872

Herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPV) are volatile organic compounds produced by plants in response to herbivory by insects. HIPVs are involved in activating plant defenses and attracting natural enemies of herbivores. In addition, HIPVs mediate interplant communication, warning neighboring plants of approaching danger and allowing them to prime their defense response. Given that HIPVs are only released by plants for a short time after damage, signaling to neighboring plants possibly well-before their own attack, researchers were curious if plants could “remember” the HIPV signal.

In this study, researchers analyzed the memory of maize plants downwind of plants infested with Mythimna separata, an herbivorous member of the Noctuidae (moth) family. They found that plants maintained a defense response up to 5 days after HIPV exposure. To better understand the molecular biology of this memory, methylation status of the defense gene TI was assessed by bisulfite sequencing using TaKaRa EpiTaq HS DNA polymerase for amplification. This analysis revealed HIPV-mediated demethylation of the promoter region, suggesting a possible epigenetic mechanism in regulating recall of HIPV signals.


  In Closing



In Closing

"Clearly it was a risk, even ten years ago, to somebody's career to dedicate themselves to an area [epigenetics] that seemed to have a lot of hand-waving…Now that's changed; it is certainly a growth area for young scientists."

– Susan Clark, an epigeneticist at the University of New South Wales, quoted in “Epigenetics: Marked for success” (2012) Nature 483:637-639.

Best wishes for your research from Takara Bio!

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