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PLoS One. 2013 May 20;8(5):e61254. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061254. Print 2013.

The double pedigree: a method for studying culturally and genetically inherited behavior in tandem.

Author information

1
CNRS, UPS, ENFA, EDB (Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique), UMR5174, Toulouse, France. etienne.danchin@univ-tlse3.fr

Abstract

Transgenerational sources of biological variation have been at the center of evolutionary studies ever since Darwin and Wallace identified natural selection. This is because evolution can only operate on traits whose variation is transmitted, i.e. traits that are heritable. The discovery of genetic inheritance has led to a semantic shift, resulting in the tendency to consider that only genes are inherited across generations. Today, however, concepts of heredity are being broadened again to integrate the accruing evidence of non-genetic inheritance, and many evolutionary biologists are calling for the inclusion of non-genetic inheritance into an inclusive evolutionary synthesis. Here, we focus on social heredity and its role in the inheritance of behavioral traits. We discuss quantitative genetics methods that might allow us to disentangle genetic and non-genetic transmission in natural populations with known pedigrees. We then propose an experimental design based on cross-fostering among animal cultures, environments and families that has the potential to partition inherited phenotypic variation into socially (i.e. culturally) and genetically inherited components. This approach builds towards a new conceptual framework based on the use of an extended version of the animal model of quantitative genetics to integrate genetic and cultural components of behavioral inheritance.

PMID:
23700404
PMCID:
PMC3659024
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0061254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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