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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Dec;14(6):692-6.

Epigenetic germline inheritance.

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  • 1School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, Biochemistry Building-G08, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.


Our increased knowledge of epigenetic reprogramming supports the idea that epigenetic marks are not always completely cleared between generations. Incomplete erasure at genes associated with a measurable phenotype can result in unusual patterns of inheritance from one generation to the next. It is also becoming clear that the establishment of epigenetic marks during development can be influenced by environmental factors. In combination, these two processes could provide a mechanism for a rapid form of adaptive evolution.

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