Friday, August 04, 2006


Wanted: Inherited epigenetic variation - revisiting soft inheritance

Perspective: Nature Reviews Genetics 7, 395-401 (May 2006) | doi:10.1038/nrg1834

Opinion: Inherited epigenetic variation - revisiting soft inheritance

Eric J. Richards

Phenotypic variation is traditionally parsed into components that are directed by genetic and environmental variation. The line between these two components is blurred by inherited epigenetic variation, which is potentially sensitive to environmental inputs. Chromatin and DNA methylation-based mechanisms mediate a semi-independent epigenetic inheritance system at the interface between genetic control and the environment. Should the existence of inherited epigenetic variation alter our thinking about evolutionary change?

[Associated Washington University of St. Louis news release]

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