Did Paul Kammerer discover epigenetic inheritance? A modern look at the controversial midwife toad experiments.

@article{Vargas2009DidPK,
  title={Did Paul Kammerer discover epigenetic inheritance? A modern look at the controversial midwife toad experiments.},
  author={Alexander O. Vargas},
  journal={Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution},
  year={2009},
  volume={312 7},
  pages={
          667-78
        }
}
  • Alexander O. Vargas
  • Published 2009
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
The controversy surrounding the alleged Lamarckian fraud of Paul Kammerer's midwife toad experiments has intrigued generations of biologists. A re-examination of his descriptions of hybrid crosses of treated and nontreated toads reveals parent-of-origin effects like those documented in epigenetic inheritance. Modification of the extracellular matrix of the egg as described by Kammerer provides a plausible cause for altered gene methylation patterns. Traits such as altered egg and adult body… Expand
Did Paul Kammerer discover epigenetic inheritance? No and why not.
  • Sander Gliboff
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
  • 2010
TLDR
Alexander Vargas' new, epigenetic explanation of Paul Kammerer's controversial midwife toad experiments is seriously misinformed and his model simply cannot explain the results as they were originally reported and it cannot easily be corrected. Expand
An Epigenetic Perspective on the Midwife Toad Experiments of Paul Kammerer (1880–1926)
TLDR
A model of possible epigenetic mechanisms underlie parent-of-origin effects in Kammerer's experiments, an effect of parental sex on dominance that suggests authenticity in the midwife toad results. Expand
Epigenetic Inheritance ? No and Why Not
In a recent article in this journal, Alexander Vargas presents a new, epigenetic explanation of Paul Kammerer’s controversial midwife toad experiments, but he has constructed his model without firstExpand
Can epigenetics solve the case of the midwife toad?--a comment on Vargas.
  • Hannes Svardal
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
  • 2010
TLDR
While Vargas' general idea-invoking epigenetic effects as an explanation of Kammerer's findings-remains attractive, at least two key aspects of his model need to be revised. Expand
Paul Kammerer and epigenetics – a reappraisal of his experiments
TLDR
Although the exact contents of Kammerer’s writings remain controversial and must be regarded with caution, his writings need to be treated objectively and accurately to avoid historical record distortion and to render the performance of adequate replications of his experiments possible. Expand
An introduction to epigenetics as the link between genotype and environment: a personal view.
TLDR
Epigenetics, or the study of heritable changes in gene activity that are not brought about by changes in the DNA sequence, can explain some types of ill health in offspring, which have been exposed to stressors during early development, when DNA is most susceptible to such epigenetic influences. Expand
Epigenetics: The origins and evolution of a fashionable topic.
TLDR
The origin of epigenetics, the major phases of epigenetic research, and the changes in the meaning of the term are highlighted, and some of the far-reaching claims that have accompanied the recent rise are called into question. Expand
Bridging the transgenerational gap with epigenetic memory.
TLDR
Some of the most recent examples of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in animals, ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans, are surveyed and approaches and limitations to studying this phenomenon are described. Expand
Why epigenetics is not a vindication of Lamarckism - and why that matters.
  • U. Deichmann
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2016
TLDR
A recent collected volume on the transformation of Lamarckism considers a modern Lamarckian approach to be of the highest importance for evolutionary biology and philosophy of science, suggesting that these modern ideas and research are based on the inheritance of epigenetic variations and the evolution of self-organizing structures. Expand
Paul Kammerer's midwife toads: about the reliability of experiments and our ability to make sense of them.
  • G. Wagner
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
  • 2009
TLDR
The article by Alexander Vargas reanalyzes and recontextualizes Paul Kammerer’s controversial experiments with the midwife toad, which he believed to demonstrate the inheritance of an acquired character. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 51 REFERENCES
"Protoplasm...is soft wax in our hands": Paul Kammerer and the art of biological transformation.
TLDR
The Kammerer story shows a great deal about early 20th-century biology: the range of new ideas about heredity and variation, competing theories of biological and cultural evolution and their applications in eugenics, new kinds of laboratories and professional roles for biologists, and changing standards for documenting experimental results. Expand
Epigenetic inheritance at the agouti locus in the mouse
TLDR
It is demonstrated here that this maternal epigenetic effect is not the result of a maternally contributed environment, and results from incomplete erasure of an epigenetic modification when a silenced Avy allele is passed through the female germ line, with consequent inheritance of the epigenetic modified. Expand
Germ-line epigenetic modification of the murine Avy allele by nutritional supplementation
TLDR
This study demonstrates that a specific mammalian gene can be subjected to germ-line epigenetic change, and that the altered state is retained through the epigenetic resetting that takes place in gametogenesis and embryogenesis. Expand
Agouti germ line gets acquisitive
TLDR
A study by Hugh Morgan and colleagues reveals a possible mechanism by which this form of inheritance could occur, although using an animal more tractable to genetic manipulation, as well as identifying known oncogenes as targets for single hits. Expand
Epigenetic Transgenerational Actions of Endocrine Disruptors and Male Fertility
TLDR
The ability of an environmental factor to reprogram the germ line and to promote a transgenerational disease state has significant implications for evolutionary biology and disease etiology. Expand
Environmental signaling and evolutionary change: can exposure of pregnant mammals to environmental estrogens lead to epigenetically induced evolutionary changes in embryos?
TLDR
It is proposed how certain natural agents, through their dietary consumption, could induce changes in physiological aspects in mammalian mothers, leading to alterations in DNA methylation patterns of the developing fetus and to the emergence of new phenotypes and evolutionary change. Expand
Genomic Imprinting in Mammals: Emerging Themes and Established Theories
TLDR
A group of small imprinted domains, which consist of paternally expressed genes embedded within introns of multiexonic transcripts, are focused on to discuss the evolution of imprinting at these loci. Expand
Maternal epigenetics and methyl supplements affect agouti gene expression in Avy/a mice
TLDR
It is reported that feeding pregnant black a/a dams methyl‐supplemented diets alters epigenetic regulation of ag outi expression in their offspring, as indicated by increased agouti/black mottling in the direction of the pseudoagouti phenotype. Expand
Genomic imprinting mechanisms in mammals.
TLDR
This review summarizes many years of imprinting research, pointing out exciting new discoveries that further elucidate the mechanism of genomic imprinting, and speculating on areas that require further investigation. Expand
The ontogeny of allele‐specific methylation associated with imprinted genes in the mouse.
TLDR
It is suggested that only a few DNA modifications at selective positions in imprinted genes may be candidates for playing a role in the maintenance of parental identity during development. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...