Understanding 'non-genetic' inheritance : insights from molecular-evolutionary crosstalk
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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.
Adrian-Kalchhauser , I , Sultan , S E , Shama , L N S , Spence-Jones , H C , Tiso , S , Keller Valsecchi , C I & Weissing , F J 2020 , ' Understanding 'non-genetic' inheritance : insights from molecular-evolutionary crosstalk ' , Trends in Ecology & Evolution , vol. 35 , no. 12 , pp. 1078-1089 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2020.08.011
Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
DescriptionThe idea for this paper was initially proposed by I.A.-K. and was further developed by all authors in a workshop generously funded by grant No 789240 from the European Research Council (ERC) to F.J.W. S.E.S. acknowledges support from Wesleyan University and The John Templeton Foundation.
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