Friday, September 2, 2011

Lab-meeting on epigenetic inheritance and evolution

Following the suggestions of Machteld Verzijden and Anna Runemark, I suggest we denote next lab-meeting to discuss epigenetic inheritance and its (possible) evolutionary consequences to epigenetic inheritance. I suggest that we discuss two recent papers, one more theoretical in American Naturalist by Troy Day and Russel Bonduriansky which can be found here, and a review in Nature Reviews Genetics by Danchin et al. which can be found here. I post the Abstract of that paper below.

Please read both these papers, and not in the last minute, as it is a difficult topic, but the more we know in advance, the more enlightened will the discussion be.

Note that next lab-mating will take place in "Argumentet" between 10.00 and 12.00 on Tuesday 6 September 2011. After that, our regular lab-meetings will take place between 10.00 and 12.00 on Thursdays. Fika volunteers are always welcome.

Beyond DNA: integrating inclusive inheritance into an extended theory of evolution
Danchin, E (Danchin, Etienne)1; Charmantier, A (Charmantier, Anne)2; Champagne, FA (Champagne, Frances A.)3; Mesoudi, A (Mesoudi, Alex)4; Pujol, B (Pujol, Benoit)1; Blanchet, S (Blanchet, Simon)1,5

Nature Reviews Genetics 12: 475-486

Abstract: Many biologists are calling for an 'extended evolutionary synthesis' that would 'modernize the modern synthesis' of evolution. Biological information is typically considered as being transmitted across generations by the DNA sequence alone, but accumulating evidence indicates that both genetic and non-genetic inheritance, and the interactions between them, have important effects on evolutionary outcomes. We review the evidence for such effects of epigenetic, ecological and cultural inheritance and parental effects, and outline methods that quantify the relative contributions of genetic and non-genetic heritability to the transmission of phenotypic variation across generations. These issues have implications for diverse areas, from the question of missing heritability in human complex-trait genetics to the basis of major evolutionary transitions.


  1. Hello Everyone! Lab meeting last week was GREAT! Thanks to everyone. On the topic of epigenetics, consider reading Jerry Coyne's blog posts on the topic, as well as a recent post by PZ Meyers. They provide a fun (but highly informed and articulate) nay-sayer perspective. I can't figure out how to add links to a comment (if I can), but here are the urls to get started:

  2. I can bring some fika for the ones who have done the effort to read the quite massive volume of text!