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Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Etologi)
2013 (English)In: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, ISSN 0079-6107, E-ISSN 1873-1732, Vol. 113, no 3, 447-454 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the last decade a shift in paradigm has occurred with respect to the interaction between environmentand genes. It is now clear that animal genomes are regulated to a large extent as a result of inputfrom environmental events and experiences, which cause short- and long-term modifications in epigeneticmarkings of DNA and histones. In this review, the evidence that such epigenetic modificationscan affect the behaviour of animals is explored, and whether such acquired behaviour alterations cantransfer across generation borders. First, the mechanisms by which experiences cause epigenetic modificationsare examined. This includes, for example, methylation of cytosine in CpG positions and acetylationof histones, and studies showing that this can be modified by early experiences. Secondly, theevidence that specific modifications in the epigenome can be the cause of behaviour variation isreviewed. Thirdly, the extent to which this phenotypically active epigenetic variants can be inheritedeither through the germline or through reoccurring environmental conditions is examined. A particularlyinteresting observation is that epigenetic modifications are often linked to stress, and may possibly bemediated by steroid effects. Finally, the idea that transgenerationally stable epigenetic variants may serveas substrates for natural selection is explored, and it is speculated that they may even predispose fordirected, non-random mutations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 113, no 3, 447-454 p.
Keyword [en]
Epigenetics Methylation Behaviour Stress
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102253DOI: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2013.01.001ISI: 000329561000012OAI: diva2:675652
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-12-04 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved

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