Fall 2011 Biomedical Seminar Series
Friday, September 23
Transgenerational Inheritance of DNA Methylation
Dr. Matteo Pellegrini, Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
DNA Methylation is thought to play an important role in the regulation of gene expression and cellular differentiation. Recently it has become possible to profile the entire DNA methylome using bisulfite sequencing coupled with next generation sequencers. Using these approaches several studies have identified regions that are differentially methylated across different cell types. However, the degree to which DNA methylation responds to environmental cues, is heritable across generations, and affects organismal phenotypes are open questions. We are currently investigating how patterns of DNA methylation are preserved in parental and F1 crosses in both rice and mice. We are also investigating the role that diet plays on transgenerational DNA methylation patterns in mice. Finally we are performing association studies between DNA methylation and clinical phenotypes in mice. A fuller understanding of these effects will allow us to more completely understand how the effects of environmental changes can be propagated across generations.