Heisenberg Research Group Veterinary Functional Genomics

The Heisenberg Research Group Veterinary Functional Genomics aims at evaluating the genetic architecture of the genome and its contribution to various biological processes. Our goal is to understand the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype based on genomic variation, gene expression as well as epigenetic regulation in mammalian model organisms. This involves comprehensive analyses on regulatory effects involved the expression of phenotypic characteristics, individual growth and development using high-throughput sequencing for gene expression, chromatin conformation, histone modification as well as methylation patterns.

MEASURE: Multi-omics Evaluation of Animals for body Stature– the genetic architecture for body size

This project funded by a Heisenberg grant is focused on the analysis of regulatory genetic effects primarily involved in size determination. We approach the cutting-edge of functional genomics, targeting intergenic variants playing a prominent role in the complex process of growth of a body. Initial investigations of whole genome sequencing data aim at identifying genomic regions underlying selection pressures for size. Subsequently, by the use of latest OMICs technologies, we target marks of active DNA sequences linked to transcriptional variation within growth plates responsible for longitudinal growth of the long bones in small and large individuals. These data will make an important contribution towards deciphering the molecular genetic mechanisms of growth biology in mammals (see also DFG:  https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/438575335?context=projekt&task=showDetail&id=438575335&).

CURLY: Molecular genetic characterization of hair phenotypes using high resolution marker sets and next generation sequencing data

The aim of this research project is to evaluate genetic mechanisms of hair development and shape, which is not only displaying an individual characteristic, but also has to be considered in context of disease. Among mammals, various variants have been identified causative for curly hair and curly-hair associated hypotrichosis. We aim at evaluating genes and gene regulatory networks in the 3D genome determining the shape of hair and temperature-dependent changes in hair development. This approach will increase the knowledge on developmental mechanisms, uncovering genomic determination and regulation of morphologic traits.

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