Direct comparisons of bisulfite pyrosequencing versus targeted bisulfite sequencing.

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DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism involved in proper genome function. Bisulfite pyrosequencing (PSQ) is a commonly used technique to quantify DNA methylation. Although very accurate, bisulfite pyrosequencing can be expensive and time consuming for large-scale quantitative DNA methylation analysis at the single nucleotide level. High throughput DNA methylation sequencing has the potential to address these limitations, but its comparability to other methylation detection methods has not been well studied. We compared QIAseq Targeted Methyl Panel technologies (QMS) and PSQ by analyzing four CpG sites within four genes involved in neurodevelopment. QMS and PSQ had an average 5.6% difference in the detected level of DNA methylation for the same four CpG sites. However, we observed a strong correlation in the levels of methylation across all four CpG sites between the two technologies. These findings demonstrate the comparability of QMS relative to PSQ in the ability to accurately quantify DNA methylation at specific CpG sites.


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King, Dillon E, A Clare Sparling, Rashmi Joglekar, Joel N Meyer and Susan K Murphy (2021). Direct comparisons of bisulfite pyrosequencing versus targeted bisulfite sequencing. microPublication biology, 2021. 10.17912/micropub.biology.000444 Retrieved from

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Joel Meyer

Professor of Environmental Genomics in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Dr. Meyer studies the effects of toxic agents and stressors on human and wildlife health. He is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause DNA damage, the molecular processes that organisms employ to protect prevent and repair DNA damage, and genetic differences that may lead to increased or decreased sensitivity to DNA damage. Mitochondrial DNA damage and repair, as well as mitochondrial function in general, are a particular focus. He studies these effects in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in cell culture, and collaboratively in other laboratory model organisms as well as in human populations in the USA and globally.


Susan Kay Murphy

Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Murphy is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves as Chief of the Division of Reproductive Sciences. As a molecular biologist with training in human epigenetics, her research interests are largely centered around the role of epigenetic modifications in health and disease. 

Dr. Murphy has ongoing projects on gynecologic malignancies, including approaches to eradicate ovarian cancer cells that survive chemotherapy and later give rise to recurrent disease. Dr. Murphy is actively involved in many collaborative projects relating to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

Her lab is currently working on preconception environmental exposures in males, particularly on the impact of cannabis on the sperm epigenome and the potential heritability of these effects. They are also studying the epigenetic and health effects of in utero exposures, with primary focus on children from the Newborn Epigenetics STudy (NEST), a pregnancy cohort she co-founded who were recruited from central North Carolina between 2005 and 2011. Dr. Murphy and her colleagues continue to follow NEST children to determine relationships between prenatal exposures and later health outcomes.

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