BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two Louisiana State University researchers have a four-year, $500,000 grant to figure out whether one natural form of DNA regulation affects cattle embryos’ ability to survive.
LSU AgCenter researchers Zongliang (ZOON-lyan) “Carl” Jiang (JYANG) and Ken Bondioli are studying DNA methylization , a chemical attachment that acts like an on-off switch for individual genes. This form was known in other organisms but wasn’t found in mammals until 2016. Jiang says he recently found it in cattle embryos.
Jiang says their work could eventually help livestock production and even human fertility treatments, but that’s years in the future. Right now, he says, the researchers are just investigating how it works.
The grant is from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.