Research Topic

Understanding livestock epigenetics towards a more sustainable animal production systems

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About this Research Topic

Epigenetics is an emerging area of research in livestock nutrition, genetics and breeding. The modifications that occur in the epi-genome (without changing DNA sequence) contribute to phenotypic variability of the population. These modifications may have a genetic or environmental origin (e.g. diet, stress, ...

Epigenetics is an emerging area of research in livestock nutrition, genetics and breeding. The modifications that occur in the epi-genome (without changing DNA sequence) contribute to phenotypic variability of the population. These modifications may have a genetic or environmental origin (e.g. diet, stress, disease), and many of them take place during embryogenesis.
Embryonic and fetal environments may leave permanent marks on the individuals that influence important aspects of its future growth, developmental capacity and health. Most of these marks are elicited through epigenetic mechanisms and may determine the metabolic function, behavior and the performance of the offspring and even of their progeny.
Epigenetics is also attractive for animal breeding because it may help identifying part of the missing causality and missing heritability of complex traits and diseases. The causal relationship of genome–epigenome–phenotype is to be discovered, and the epigenome layer may confer additional knowledge on the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Thus, it will be important to detect the genotypes and rearing practices associated to favorable or unfavorable methylation patterns affecting productive traits and metabolic functionality.
Epigenetics and epigenomics pose new opportunities in livestock and aquaculture for further knowledge of the biological processes and for management and genetic improvement.

Our goal of the Research Topic is to stimulate epigenetic research involved in livestock and aquaculture to improve the knowledge in the state-of-the-art of the processes which will help in the development of strategies that model favorable epigenetic patterns for a more efficient and sustainable animal production.
The topic types include book review, clinical study, editorial commentary, hypothesis and theory, methods, review, original research and perspectives.
All articles must be submitted directly to Frontiers in Livestock Genomics, where they are processed by the associate and review editors of the Specialty Section. The deadline for article submission will no later than July 31st 2013.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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