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Title: Inheritance of acquired traits in insects and other animals and the epigenetic mechanisms that break the weismann barrier
Authors: Gowri, V.
Monteiro, Antonia 
Keywords: Epigenetics
Genetic assimilation
Inheritance of acquired traits
Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance
Weismann barrier
Issue Date: 7-Oct-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Gowri, V., Monteiro, Antonia (2021-10-07). Inheritance of acquired traits in insects and other animals and the epigenetic mechanisms that break the weismann barrier. Journal of Developmental Biology 9 (4) : 41. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: The credibility of the Weismann barrier has come into question. Several studies in various animal systems, from mice to worms, have shown that novel environmental stimuli can generate an altered developmental or behavioral trait that can be transmitted to offspring of the following gen-eration. Recently, insects have become ideal models to study the inheritance of acquired traits. This is because insects can be reared in high numbers at low cost, they have short generation times and produce abundant offspring. Numerous studies have shown that an insect can modify its phenotype in response to a novel stimulus to aid its survival, and also that this modified phenotypic trait can be inherited by its offspring. Epigenetic mechanisms are likely at play but, most studies do not ad-dress the mechanisms that underlie the inheritance of acquired traits in insects. Here we first review general epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and small noncoding RNAs that have been implicated in the transmission of acquired traits in animals, then we focus on the few insect studies in which these mechanisms have been investigated. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Journal of Developmental Biology
ISSN: 2221-3759
DOI: 10.3390/jdb9040041
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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