Epigenetic germline inheritance

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Dec;14(6):692-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2004.09.001.


Our increased knowledge of epigenetic reprogramming supports the idea that epigenetic marks are not always completely cleared between generations. Incomplete erasure at genes associated with a measurable phenotype can result in unusual patterns of inheritance from one generation to the next. It is also becoming clear that the establishment of epigenetic marks during development can be influenced by environmental factors. In combination, these two processes could provide a mechanism for a rapid form of adaptive evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Environment
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Phenotype