Friday, March 10, 2006


[evomech] Epigenetic vs. Genetic, a story of the evolution of the germline

[Lachmann & Sella, SFI Working Paper]


Differentiation of multicellular organisms is controlled by epigenetic markers transmitted through cell division. Many of the systems that encode these markers exist also in unicellulars, but in unicellulars these systems do not control differentiation. Thus during the evolution of multicellularity, epigenetic inheritance systems were exapted for their current use in differentiation. During this transition there must have been stages at which epigenetic information passed between generations to an even larger extent than it does now. We show that this can lead to the evolution of cells that do not contribute to the progeny of the organism, and thus to a germline-soma distinction. This hints that an intrinsic instability during a transition from unicellulars to multicellulars may be the reason wide spread of the evolution of germ line.

Full text at:

John Latter

Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism:

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