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Bulgarian Jurnal of Animal Husbandry   ISSN 0514-7441
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Epigenetics and its Significance for Animal Science and Practice
Svetlin Tanchev, Vasil Nikolov
Abstract: Epigenetics is a relatively new branch of genetics studying the activity of genes and gene expression dynamics under the influence of environmental factors occurring without mutation changes in DNA molecules. Contemporary studies on epigenetic mechanisms  DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin structure remodelling, regulation effect of non-coding RNAs etc. demonstrate their essential role for gene expression and thus, their direct or indirect effects on biological processes and phenotypic expression of traits during the ontogenesis. What is more, several research reports have shown the transgenerational effect of epigenetic changes. Epigenetics reveals that apart the basic genomic information for the structure and functions of organisms, the progeny inherits also from parents an epigenetic programme which largely defines the phenotype formation. While the genome information characteristics are relatively constant, the information coded in the epigenome could be repeatedly altered (reprogrammed) by the various environmental factors. This manuscript, based on numerous literature sources, presents scientific information about the biological nature, progress and future prospects of epigenetics development in livestock science and practice.
Keywords: epigenetics, epigenetic mechanisms, transgenerational inheritance, livestock species
Date published: 2019-12-04
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