Three epigenetic information channels and their different roles in evolution.
Bottom Line: However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear.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.
Affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy and Somerville College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: First, we illustrate the evolution of selection-based effects. Consider a population consisting of two equally large subpopulations in environments E1 and E2, connected by a low rate of migration d (i.e. the probability an individual permanently moves between the two subpopulations before reproducing (Fig. 1)). The life history follows a simple structure with nonoverlapping generations: Reproduction →Development →Migration →Selection →Reproduction. Organisms are haploids and can produce two phenotypes, P1 and P2. In E1, the optimal offspring phenotype is P1, in E2 it is P2. Nonmatching phenotypes have relative fitness 1 − s.
Affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy and Somerville College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.