New research line: sperm DNA damage assessment by qPCR

Note: This research line is admitting students for carrying out a PhD project!

We have been granted a new project from the National R&D Program, with the title: “Assessment of DNA damage by qPCR and presence of the apoptotic marker PARP in ruminant spermatozoa: factors, effect on fertility and remediation”. This project, led by Dr. Felipe Martínez-Pastor, counts with the collaboration of Dr. Alireza Fazeli, from the University of Sheffield (UK).

These are excellent news in a difficult moment for obtaining R&D funding in Spain.  This project allows starting a new research line in the group, aimed at assessing damage in the genetic material of ruminant spermatozoa. Instead of using conventional and unspecific techniques, such as TUNEL, Comet or SCSA, we are using qPCR for quantifying DNA breaks in specific sequences. Moreover, we are also interested in quantifying telomere length, since many artificial reproductive techniques cause telomere shortening, which might have serious consequences in the offspring.

We are also assessing the relationship among the presence of the cleaved for of poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) with DNA damage. PARP is involved in DNA repair in somatic cells and it is cleaved in some apoptotic pathways. This is the first time that PARP is being assessed in ruminant spermatozoa, promising exciting findings.

You can find more information about this project in the section on research lines of our website.

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