Distinguished Professor in MCD Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz
Host: Iva Greenwald
Title: Paternal epigenetic contributions to germline development in C. elegans
Abstract: Paternal contributions to epigenetic inheritance are gaining increased attention, as epidemiological studies in humans and experiments in mammalian models suggest that conditions experienced by fathers can affect future generations. We are testing whether C. elegans sperm transmit epigenetic information about gene expression from fathers to offspring, focusing on marked histones as potential carriers of memory. Our findings show that in C. elegans the sperm epigenome is fully loaded with histone modifications that mark expressed and repressed genes, that sperm transmit that histone marking to embryos, and that the sperm epigenome is both necessary and sufficient for normal germline development in offspring.