Zoe Lonsdale

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BBSRC PhD student

Project: Epigenetic markers and gene expression patterns of genomic imprinting in the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

Genomic imprinting is a phenomenon whereby the expression status of an allele is determined by from which parent it was inherited. Through my PhD studies I use whole genome sequencing data to search for patterns of imprinting in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris.

I use a combination of RNA-sequencing and bisulphite sequencing to determine gene expression patterns and potential associated epigenetic mechanisms (i.e. DNA methylation, alternative splicing). This will lead to a better understanding of the genetics of eusocial insects and the evolutionary theory elucidating why imprinting first evolved.

Moreover, a good understanding of imprinting is important for crop breeding, developmental syndromes such as Prader-Willi and Angelman, and some human cancers.

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