de Lima, Camila Bruna Stagiaire postdoctorale

Stagiaire postdoctorale


Metabolism Embryo epigenetics
: Postdoctoral fellow

Analysis of mitochondrial methylation patterns in oocytes and embryos using the bovine model

INAF/ Pavillon des services

2440 boul Hochelaga, local 1797
Université Laval, Québec (QC) G1V 0A6


Marc-André Sirard

Study level

Postdoctoral fellow

PhD in Biotechnology, University of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, SP , Brazil)

Analysis of mitochondrial methylation patterns in oocytes and embryos using the bovine model
My research is focused in developing a new approach to measure and understand intergenerational metabolic programming through mitochondrial methylation. During many years, studies in the field of epigenetics have not gone further in reproductive studies due to technical limitations. There are difficulties in obtaining samples and the available techniques to assess and quantify epigenetic modifications lacked sensitivity. In the meantime, observations that parents pass on more than their genome during conception were increasing. Our laboratory specialized in using animal models to develop a molecular understanding of this phenomenon and my project focuses on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA methylation which is currently little known. Paradoxically, oocytes and embryos contain more than 200,000 mitochondria for a few copies of the nuclear genome, which allows immediate enrichment and unparalleled precision in the statistical analysis of methylation sites. Our preliminary analyzes on oocytes, 7-day embryos and ovarian cells indicate that methylation is modulated by the quality of the oocyte, it is largely maintained in the embryo and changes according to the age of the donor for ovarian cells. Now we want to better understand if and how the different metabolic conditions present in the ovary during the growth and maturation of the oocyte have an effect on the methylation of mitochondrial DNA and how this may influence embryonic and possibly postnatal development.