Possible Evolutionary Origin of Genomic imprinting 

Alejandro Burga, PhD
Some of our genes can be expressed or silenced depending on whether we inherited them from our mother or our father. The mechanism behind this phenomenon, known as genomic imprinting, is determined by DNA modifications during egg and sperm production. The Burga Lab at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences uncovered a novel gene regulation process, associated with the silencing of selfish genes, that could represent the first step in the evolution of imprinting. The discovery, reported on March 6, 2024 in Nature, could begin to solve the mystery of how and why imprinting first evolved. In the open-access article, which is titled “Selfish Conflict Underlies RNA-Mediated Parent-of-Origin Effects,” Alejandro Burga, PhD, and his lab at IMBA, in collaboration with the lab of Eyal Ben-David, PhD, at the Hebrew University, have reported the discovery of the first parent-of-origin effect in nematodes.   
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