First of all, I would like to thank my parents and Matthias Hartmann for their support and trust. My special “thank you” belongs to Matthias who was standing next to me during the last stressful months of work and writing.

My supervisor Prof. Joern Walter I would like to thank for his professional and continuous support. The personal atmosphere, he created in the lab, was an important basis for creative scientific discussions and work. His comments and advice were invaluable in finding solutions for numerous problems, which appeared during my work.

I would also like to thank my colleagues: Sabine Engemann, Martin Stroedicke, Angelika Daser, Olivia Frank, Lars Vollborn, Julia Heid, Osman El-Maarri, Konstantin Lepikhov, Andrei Tchernov, Laura Kleihues, Juergen Willert, Martina Paulsen, Joachim Oswald and Alexander Olek for their help and valuable advice. They formed a well working team that was fundamental for my work. I wish them all the best for their further scientific career. My acknowledgement belongs also to the sequencing team of Dr .R. Reinhardt at MPI – without their precise and fast work my project would be unimaginable.

My special thanks are addressed to Sylvia Erhardt (Wellcome/CRC Institute, UK) for her outstanding co-operation concerning the PGC preparations. I enjoyed and appreciated our fruitful exchange of ideas.

Prof. A. M. Surani (Wellcome/CRC Institute, UK) and Dr. W. Reik (The Babraham Institute, UK) I would like to thank for motivating scientific discussions, they both brought many challenging impulses into my experimental work.

Prof. H. Saumweber I would like to thank for his help and support connected with the submission of my thesis.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Prof. T. A. Trautner for giving me the possibility to work in his department at MPI. The professional set-up of his department created a natural basis for the success of our work.

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