Understanding 'Non-genetic' Inheritance: Insights from Molecular-Evolutionary Crosstalk


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Lisa.Shama [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Understanding the evolutionary and ecological roles of 'non-genetic' inheritance (NGI) is daunting due to the complexity and diversity of epigenetic mechanisms. We draw on insights from molecular and evolutionary biology perspectives to identify three general features of 'non-genetic' inheritance systems: (i) they are functionally interdependent with, rather than separate from, DNA sequence; (ii) precise mechanisms vary phylogenetically and operationally; and (iii) epigenetic elements are probabilistic, interactive regulatory factors and not deterministic 'epialleles' with defined genomic locations and effects. We discuss each of these features and offer recommendations for future empirical and theoretical research that implements a unifying inherited gene regulation (IGR) approach to studies of 'non-genetic' inheritance.



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Published
Eprint ID
53094
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2020.08.011

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Adrian-Kalchhauser, I. , Sultan, S. , Shama, L. , Spence-Jones, H. , Tiso, S. , Keller Valsecchi, C. and Weissing, F. (2020): Understanding 'Non-genetic' Inheritance: Insights from Molecular-Evolutionary Crosstalk , Trends in Ecology & Evolution . doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.08.011


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