What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization?

The figure shows a normal embryo (top two panels) and an embryo with additional expression of SUV4-20 (bottom two panels, methylation shown in red). Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München/Andre Eid.

A team of scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München shows changes in the immediate environment of DNA after the ovum and sperm fuse to form the zygote. The results suggest why all conceivable somatic cells can develop from the germ cells.

For more information see the original publication Eid, A. et al. (2016) SUV4-20 activity in the pre-implantation mouse embryo controls timely replication. Genes and Development, doi: 10.1101/gad.288969.116 and the press release from Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen.

To find out more about the research being conducted in the IES, visit the institute webpage here