Abstract: Epigenetics in Greek literally means "above or in addition to genetics" and refers to chemical changes to the genome, outside of the genetic code itself, that can influence which genes are expressed and which are silent. My lab at UC Santa Cruz is using C. elegans to tackle the burning question of whether epigenetic changes can be passed from parents to their offspring, and if those changes provide "epigenetic memories” to the offspring. We’ve discovered that germ cells pass a histone-based epigenetic memory of gene expression patterns from parents to offspring and that that memory is essential for the offspring’s germ cells to develop properly. Without that memory, the offspring are sterile … end of the line for that population!
Susan Strome is a Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Strome received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, as well as post-graduate work at the University of Colorado Boulder. Strome's work in developmental genetics investigates how germ cells are established and maintain identity, immortality, and potency from parent to offspring. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
Link to the Strome Lab: