Human Genetics, Reproductive Medicince, Human Evolution

in Würzburg

In mammals, the paternal and maternal genomes undergo parent-specific methylation reprogramming in the germ line and early embryogenesis. Stochastic and/or environmentally induced errors (epimutations) in this highly coordinated process may contribute to human disease. We analyze the effects of assisted reproductive technologies on epigenetic reprogramming in murine and bovine germ cells/embryos as well as in human miscarriages and newborns.
In another project, we search for epigenetic differences in the regulation of gene expression in human and non-human primate brains. DNA sequence variations alone cannot account for the enormous differences between human and primate brain structure/function and their cognitive abilities. Epigenetic factors may form a main source of phenotypic variation between individuals and between species.


Bisulfite Sequencing and Pyrosequencing Single cell analysis Molecular cytogenetics


Mayer W., Niveleau A., Walter J., Fundele R., Haaf T. (2000) Demethylation of the zygotic paternal genome. Nature 403, 501-502.

Mayer W., Smith A., Fundele R., Haaf T. (2000) Spatial separation of parental genomes in preimplantation mouse embryos. J. Cell Biol. 148, 629-634.

Haaf T. (2001) The battle of the sexes after fertilization: behaviour of paternal and maternal chromosomes in the early mammalian embryo. Chromosome Res. 9, 263-271.



Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Haaf
Institut für Humangenetik
Biozentrum Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg, Germany

Phone: +49 931 31 88738
Fax: +49 931 31 84069