Sunday, October 30, 2011

Methylation Mutants = Phenotypic Diversity

Another A. thaliana epigenetics paper published a couple of months ago... and a different conclusion compared to that of Weigel's lab (see Shay's post on Epigenetics and Evolution). Ecker's team looked at epigenetic variation over 30 generations of A. thaliana and found an extremely high amount of epigenetic instability (high mutation rate), but also evidence for epialleles that induced phenotypic changes and were also metastable (heritable). Essentially, they concluded that epigenetic instability could be an important mechanism for generating phenotypic diversity.

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