First Advisor

Katherine Teeter


Many questions in genetics are raised toward the causes and effects of imprinted genes. A major exception to Mendel’s laws, imprinted genes possibly have effects in the speciation of mammals and in biomedical phenomena like mental disorders and cancers. A common explanation for the silencing for one parental allele but not the other is differential methylation in regions of imprinted genes called imprinting control regions (ICR). A loss of this methylation in the cytosine residues of cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpG) can perhaps explain the hybrid inviability and disorders mammals experience. This investigation examined the ICRs of four known imprinted genes (Grb10, Mest, Peg10, and Zim2) in Mus musculus, Mus domesticus and their hybrid offspring for possible losses in methylation. We discovered for the paternally expressed gene Peg10, the ICR is indeed differentially methylated, but this methylation is conserved in all F1 offspring.