Oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is catalyzed by ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes to produce 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and following oxidative products. The oxidized nucleotides were shown to be the intermediates for DNA demethylation, as the nucleotides are removed by base excision repair system initiated by thymine DNA glycosylase. A simple and accurate method to determine initial oxidation product 5hmC at single base resolution in genomic DNA is necessary to understand demethylation mechanism. Recently, we have developed a new catalytic oxidation reaction using micelle-incarcerated oxidants to oxidize 5hmC to form 5-formylcytosine (5fC), and subsequent bisulfite sequencing can determine the positions of 5hmC in DNA. In the present study, we described the optimization of the catalytic oxidative bisulfite sequencing (coBS-seq), and its application to the analysis of 5hmC in genomic DNA at single base resolution in a quantitative manner. As the oxidation step showed quite low damage on genomic DNA, the method allows us to down scale the sample to be analyzed. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.