We are more than our DNA : Discovering a new mechanism of epigenetic inheritance

The lab of Giacomo Cavalli at the Institute of Human Genetics of Montpellier (CNRS and University of Montpellier), in collaboration with researchers at INRA, ETH and Caltech has demonstrated the existence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI) in Drosophila. By transiently modifying the 3D organization of chromosomes and the function of Polycomb proteins, whose function is essential in development, the Cavalli lab has obtained fly lines characterized by different eye colors in the presence of the same DNA sequence. These differences depend on a variable degree of Polycomb-dependent gene silencing that can be stably but reversibly transmitted through a large number of generations. This epigenetic inheritance applies to transgenic as well as natural populations and can be modulated by environmental conditions, such as growth temperature. These results have been published in the journal Nature Genetics on April 24, 2017. Read the article at Ciabrelli et al. Nature Genetics, doi:10.1038/ng.3848

Press release

item 198 illustre
Artwork © Elisa Cavalli