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Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance


Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance

Ana Bošković et al. Annu Rev Genet.


Inheritance of genomic DNA underlies the vast majority of biological inheritance, yet it has been clear for decades that additional epigenetic information can be passed on to future generations. Here, we review major model systems for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance via the germline in multicellular organisms. In addition to surveying examples of epivariation that may arise stochastically or in response to unknown stimuli, we also discuss the induction of heritable epigenetic changes by genetic or environmental perturbations. Mechanistically, we discuss the increasingly well-understood molecular pathways responsible for epigenetic inheritance, with a focus on the unusual features of the germline epigenome.

Keywords: development; epigenetics; germ cells; transgenerational inheritance.

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