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Evolution—the Extended Synthesis$
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Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262513678

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262513678.001.0001

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Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance

Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance

(p.137) 7 Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance
Evolution—the Extended Synthesis

Eva Jablonka

Marion J. Lamb

The MIT Press

This chapter reports the case of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. It concentrates on developmental biology, in particular on molecular studies of epigenetics, and on one specific challenge: That of “soft inheritance.” The chapter reviews the assumptions about heredity and development that were built into the late twentieth-century version of the Modern Synthesis, and shows that the transgenerational transmission of epigenetic variations through cellular inheritance and through routes which bypass the germ line is not a rarity. It explains how incorporating epigenetic inheritance affects adaptation, genetic assimilation, reproductive isolation, evolution of development, and macroevolutionary change.

Keywords:   transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, developmental biology, heredity, Modern Synthesis, cellular inheritance, germ line, adaptation, genetic assimilation, reproductive isolation

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