This week we had a visit from Professor Odd Vangen from NMBU, who talked about “Epigenetics – anything to do with animal breeding?” The topic engaged the audience, consisting of scientists, farmers and others interested in genetics and animal breeding.
Epigenetics is defined as external DNA modifications that does not involve changes in the DNA sequence. This can turn genes on or off, making the gene expression different in different cells. This will again change the phenotype of the animal. When these changes are inherited, they will influence the way we breed animals, and so epigenetic effects should be taken into consideration in future breeding programs.
When it comes to our knowledge about heritage, it seems like the distinction between nature and nuture keeps getting smaller!
Photo: Professor Odd Vangen, NMBU