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Three epigenetic information channels and their different roles in evolution

Shea, Nicholas; Pen, Ido and Uller, Tobias LU (2011) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24(6). p.1178-1187
Abstract
There is increasing evidence for epigenetically mediated transgenerational inheritance across taxa. However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear. Herein, we show that epigenetic mechanisms can serve two fundamentally different functions in transgenerational inheritance: (i) selection-based effects, which carry adaptive information in virtue of selection over many generations of reliable transmission; and (ii) detection-based effects, which are a transgenerational form of adaptive phenotypic plasticity. The two functions interact differently with a third form of epigenetic information transmission, namely information about cell state transmitted for somatic cell heredity in... (More)
There is increasing evidence for epigenetically mediated transgenerational inheritance across taxa. However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear. Herein, we show that epigenetic mechanisms can serve two fundamentally different functions in transgenerational inheritance: (i) selection-based effects, which carry adaptive information in virtue of selection over many generations of reliable transmission; and (ii) detection-based effects, which are a transgenerational form of adaptive phenotypic plasticity. The two functions interact differently with a third form of epigenetic information transmission, namely information about cell state transmitted for somatic cell heredity in multicellular organisms. Selection-based epigenetic information is more likely to conflict with somatic cell inheritance than is detection-based epigenetic information. Consequently, the evolutionary implications of epigenetic mechanisms are different for unicellular and multicellular organisms, which underscores the conceptual and empirical importance of distinguishing between these two different forms of transgenerational epigenetic effect. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
24
issue
6
pages
1178 - 1187
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:79955674909
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02235.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
9c780ad0-33ef-4fa6-a9a0-5b46279ac0cd (old id 4739061)
date added to LUP
2014-11-10 11:34:40
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:00:45
@article{9c780ad0-33ef-4fa6-a9a0-5b46279ac0cd,
  abstract     = {There is increasing evidence for epigenetically mediated transgenerational inheritance across taxa. However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear. Herein, we show that epigenetic mechanisms can serve two fundamentally different functions in transgenerational inheritance: (i) selection-based effects, which carry adaptive information in virtue of selection over many generations of reliable transmission; and (ii) detection-based effects, which are a transgenerational form of adaptive phenotypic plasticity. The two functions interact differently with a third form of epigenetic information transmission, namely information about cell state transmitted for somatic cell heredity in multicellular organisms. Selection-based epigenetic information is more likely to conflict with somatic cell inheritance than is detection-based epigenetic information. Consequently, the evolutionary implications of epigenetic mechanisms are different for unicellular and multicellular organisms, which underscores the conceptual and empirical importance of distinguishing between these two different forms of transgenerational epigenetic effect.},
  author       = {Shea, Nicholas and Pen, Ido and Uller, Tobias},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1178--1187},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Three epigenetic information channels and their different roles in evolution},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02235.x},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2011},
}