News & AnalysisEuropean Society for Evolutionary Biology Meeting

Epigenetics Linked to Inbreeding Depression

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6049, pp. 1563
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6049.1563

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Recessive genes with harmful effects, whose negative influences are normally masked by a dominant copy of a gene, are more likely to pair up in offspring of more genetically similar parents, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. But evolutionary ecologists have reversed inbreeding depression in Scabiosa columbaria, a long-stemmed plant common in European gardens, by short-circuiting DNA methylation, a key epigenetic mechanism, in seeds, they reported at the meeting.