Perspectives

Nature Reviews Genetics 7, 395-401 (May 2006) | doi:10.1038/nrg1834

OpinionInherited epigenetic variation — revisiting soft inheritance

Eric J. Richards1  About the author

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Phenotypic variation is traditionally parsed into components that are directed by genetic and environmental variation. The line between these two components is blurred by inherited epigenetic variation, which is potentially sensitive to environmental inputs. Chromatin and DNA methylation-based mechanisms mediate a semi-independent epigenetic inheritance system at the interface between genetic control and the environment. Should the existence of inherited epigenetic variation alter our thinking about evolutionary change?

Author affiliations

  1. Eric J. Richards is at the Department of Biology, Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive, St Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.
    Email: richards@biology2.wustl.edu

Published online 14 March 2006

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