150 years of Darwin’s theory of intercellular flow of hereditary information

Subjects

In 1868, Charles Darwin published his Pangenesis theory, which proposed a mechanism for the flow of hereditary information between cells and generations. Pangenesis has since been disputed, but emerging evidence of cell-to-cell communication urges the reconsideration of this 150-year-old theory.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Darwin, C. The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (John Murray, 1868).

  2. 2.

    van Niel, G., D’Angelo, G. & Raposo, G. Shedding light on the cell biology of extracellular vesicles. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. 19, 213–228 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Chen, Q., Yan, W. & Duan, E. Epigenetic inheritance of acquired traits through sperm RNAs and sperm RNA modifications. Nat. Rev. Genet. 17, 733–743 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Skvortsova, K., Iovino, N. & Bogdanovic, O. Functions and mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance in animals. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-018-0074-2 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Zhang, Y. et al. Dnmt2 mediates intergenerational transmission of paternally acquired metabolic disorders through sperm small non-coding RNAs. Nat. Cell Biol. 20, 535–540 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank R. M. Roberts for constructive comments and members of the Chen laboratory for discussions. Research in the Chen laboratory is supported by the NIH (R01HD092431).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Qi Chen.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liu, Y., Chen, Q. 150 years of Darwin’s theory of intercellular flow of hereditary information. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 19, 749–750 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-018-0072-4

Download citation

Further reading