The Changing Concept of Epigenetics

  title={The Changing Concept of Epigenetics},
  author={Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
  • E. JablonkaM. Lamb
  • Published 1 December 2002
  • Biology
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Abstract: We discuss the changing use of epigenetics, a term coined by Conrad Waddington in the 1940s, and how the epigenetic approach to development differs from the genetic approach. Originally, epigenetics referred to the study of the way genes and their products bring the phenotype into being. Today, it is primarily concerned with the mechanisms through which cells become committed to a particular form or function and through which that functional or structural state is then transmitted in… 

Epigenetics: from the past to the present

The epigenome, as the bridge between the genome and the phenotype, is one of the most interesting current ideas in genetics and is so revolutionary that it may change present notions about inheritance and evolution.

Historical perspective of transgenerational epigenetics

  • D. Ho
  • Biology
    Transgenerational Epigenetics
  • 2019


The aim of the present paper is to reveal a hidden history of epigenetics, by means of a multicenter approach, and shows that genetics and embryology in early XX century--far from being non-communicating vessels--shared similar questions, as epitomized by Thomas Hunt Morgan's works.

[How to localize epigenetics in the landscape of biological research?].

This special issue shows that epigenetic studies are very diverse, and not limited to the study of chromatin, and that the relations between genetics and epigenetics is to realize that the main aim of organisms is to reproduce, and to consider the way organisms perform this task.

Epigenetics and its implications for plant biology. 1. The epigenetic network in plants.

How epigenetic systems in plants were elucidated is addressed and there is a discussion on how the different components of the epigenetic system--regulating DNA methylation, histones and their post-translational modification, and pathways recognizing aberrant transcripts--may work together.

Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Prevalence, Mechanisms, and Implications for the Study of Heredity and Evolution

The analysis of data shows that epigenetic inheritance is ubiquitous and suggests lines of research that go beyond present approaches to the subject, as well as pointing to the importance of recognizing and understanding epigenetics for practical and theoretical issues in biology.

Epigenetics in Mammary Gland Biology and Cancer

Epigenetics can explain the phenotypic outcome of interactions between environment and genetics, but it can also be seen as the basis of cellular differentiation in a multi-cellular organism development.

Cultural Epigenetics

This work discusses some of the implications of recent epigenetic research for the study of social systems, and suggests new techniques that allow the deciphering of methylation patterns in ancient DNA could be used to study the epigenetics of human cultures in long-gone historical periods.

Epigenetics in comparative biology: why we should pay attention.

Comparative integrative biologists are particularly well-suited to understand epigenetic phenomena as a way for organisms to respond rapidly with modified phenotypes to changes in the environment.

Epigenetics and memigenetics

  • J. Mann
  • Biology
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
  • 2014
An alternative term, ‘memigenetics’, could be used in place of epigenetics to describe inherited chromatin activity states, which is self-defining, and would serve to emphasize the important concept of cell memory.



[The meaning of epigenetics].

  • K. Hu
  • Biology
    Yi chuan = Hereditas
  • 2002
The new "histone code" hypothesis states that the highly modifiable amino termini could carry their own combinatorial codes to help control phenotype, and that part of this code is heritable.

Epigenetics: regulation through repression.

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA sequence, which can complicate the genetic manipulation of plants and animals.

Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution: The Lamarckian Dimension

This paperback edition of this controversial book contains a new Preface that sets out the major changes in the scientific world and in the authors' own thinking that have occurred since the book was published.

Epigenetic inheritance at the agouti locus in the mouse

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.

The Germinal Inheritance of Epigenetic Information in Plants

An attempt is made to explain the molecular basis of these phenomena in terms of modern hypotheses on the dynamic organization of chromatin on the basis of classical studies of such variants in plants.

A new theory of carcinogenesis

It is seen that damage to DNA followed by repair, just before or just after DNA replication, can lead to the loss of methyl groups, which can induce a switch in gene activity which is heritable, but potentially reversible.

Imprinted genes as potential genetic and epigenetic toxicologic targets.

Since imprinting involves both cytosine methylation within CpG islands and changes in chromatin structure, imprinted genes are potential targets for dysregulation by epigenetic toxicants that modify DNA methylation and histone acetylation.

An epigenetic mutation responsible for natural variation in floral symmetry

It is shown that a naturally occurring mutant of Linaria vulgaris carries a defect in Lcyc, a homologue of the cycloidea gene which controls dorsoventral asymmetry in Antirrhinum, indicating that epigenetic mutations may play a more significant role in evolution than has hitherto been suspected.

Genes, genetics, and epigenetics: a correspondence.

Over the past months, as this special issue took shape, the Editors of Science have monitored an exchange of seven letters initiated by three queries from M. Bacon. These queries concern the popular